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Innovation agency launches £4.6m fund for aquaculture projects

Aquaculture fund
image credit: zaferkizilkaya / Shutterstock

A £4.6m fund has been launched by the UK’s innovation agency to back sustainable aquaculture ventures from academia and industry.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) – part of the government agency UK Research and Innovation – investment fund will support 10 projects addressing challenges to British aquaculture.

The projects include using AI-powered imaging to address the health and welfare of plankton, deploying novel culturing strategies to cultivate seaweed – commonly used in bioplastics – and accelerating the genetic improvement of Atlantic salmon using speed breeding and gene editing technologies.

Projects backed by the fund will also receive an additional 10% cash investment from industry partners.

“Advances in aquaculture technology and innovative approaches have enormous potential to provide the UK, and the world, with a more sustainable, diverse, and healthy source of nutrition,” said Dr Lee Beniston, associate director of industry partnerships and collaborative research and development at BBSRC.

“This will support ambitions in areas such as food security through to the health of the nation.

“We are pleased to be investing, alongside businesses, in these exciting research and innovation projects which will catalyse and drive innovation across the aquaculture industry.”

Read more: UK Space Agency to invest £9m in Earth monitoring projects

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