The UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) has awarded a further £1.29 million to new projects in its most recent round of funding. The fund, which has supported a total of 94 projects since its inception, supports innovative proposals designed to advance resilience and sustainability in the UK seafood sector.
More than £1.29 million is awarded in the latest round of funding from the UK government programme, split across 28 feasibility studies. Projects have been awarded between £13,600 and £50,000 to support ideas designed to improve the sustainability and resilience of the UK fishing, aquaculture, and seafood sectors.
‘SIF has enabled all sorts of innovations from right across Great Britain, looking to boost the UK’s blue foods, from prawns to trout, seaweed to salmon,’ said SIF Steering Group member Heather Jones.
‘The fund supports sustainable food production, with projects ranging from proving novel feed ingredients for farmed fish, to repurposing waste from shellfish production, to using renewable energy to run fish farms. I am excited to see what benefits are realised from the feasibility projects we have funded.’
The successful projects address diverse issues across the UK industry, with five focusing on sustainability, eight on aquaculture, and seven on seafood processing and the supply chain. The remaining projects are exploring innovative approaches to topics such as humane slaughter, challenges in the underdeveloped seaweed market, and improvements in vessel stability.
‘We were really pleased to receive such high quality applications to our third funding call. It is great to be able to support a range of innovative projects through this Fund, aiming to improve the sustainability and future resilience of the UK fishing, aquaculture and seafood sectors,’ said Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, University of East Anglia (UEA) and Chair of the SIF Steering Group.
One of the recently funded projects, Recycling Ocean Resources, aims to use chitin – extracted from the shells of certain shellfish – to create carbon for battery storage technology. Another, The Cornish Seaweed Company, is developing a land-based cultivation system which could enable the expansion of the sustainable seaweed market, while a project led by Mimica Lab is adapting existing technology used to reduce waste in the meat industry for the seafood sector.
‘The SIF funding we have received has allowed us to further develop our Humane Stunner Universal (A-HSUTM) technology,” said Katie Patullo, Product Coordinator at Ace Aquatec. With support from SIF, the company is now developing a compact humane stunner for small-scale aquaculture set-ups.
‘The impact that this new product will have on welfare in smaller scale farms is immeasurable, and is the right step for a future of sustaining and growing aquaculture humanely and ethically,’ she said.
Collectively, the SIF-funded projects will explore the potential to use new and emerging technology to improve the sustainability, profitability, and efficiency of the UK’s £987 million fishing industry.