The iFishIENCi project will deliver breakthroughs to the fish farming industry

Researchers from Norway have taken the initiative to gather fish-farmers, feed producers, technology providers and start-ups in Europe to revolutionize feeding control in the fish-farming industry.

By Andreas R. Graven

iFishIENCi - Intelligent Fish feeding through Integration of ENabling technologies and Circular principle - has recently been awarded 60 million NOK  from the EU H2020 programme to provide the global aquaculture industry with smart solutions for sustainable growth.

The project is jointly led by Uni Research in Bergen, Norway and AquaBiotech Ltd, Malta. Uni Research is part of the new Norwegian research institute NORCE.

–This innovation project is a needed mover in revolutionizing global efficiency in fish production and meet society's needs for future food from the ocean, says research coordinator and project initiator Dominique Durand at Uni Research.

–iFishIENCi will provide disruptive innovations in the field of Internet-of-things and artificial intelligence, giving realtime access to fish feeding, welfare, behaviour and their environment, says Lars Ebbesson, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation (CSAI) in Bergen and scientific and technical manager for iFishIENCi.

The project also targets circular principles and zero waste by qualifying new and sustainable organic value chains for feeds, and valorisation of by-products. Assets will be maximized through a comprehensive sustainability assessment and engagements with the sector, regulators and consumers.

–Projects like iFishIENCi are used as the scientific basis for EU policy reform. Many of the results end up as industry standards and concrete requirements on industry to continue to be able to market their products in the EU. The strategic relevance for industrial partners therefore lies in being part of the learning process early and influence the creation of new markets through calibrating results for technical feasibility and commercial viability, says EU Advisor Poppy Kalesi at NCE Seafood.

At the heart of iFishIENCi is the Biology Online Steering System (iBOSS) a game-changer that will significantly improve production control and management for all fish aquaculture systems.  Through continuous monitoring of fish health and welfare, and big data analytics,  iBOSS will optimise feed utilisation while reducing environmental footprint and maximizing value creation.

Besides Uni Research, key Norwegian partners in the project are the Seafood Innovation Cluster, the University of Bergen, the International Research Institute of Stavanger and the SME Covartec.

–By joining this research-industry partnership, fish farmers and their providers demonstrate a strong willingness to overcome the present challenges of the industry for achieving sustainable growth. Dominique Durand at Uni Research in Bergen says.

–The aim for iFishIENCi is no less than to revolutionize fish welfare in fish farming facilities, not just in Norway, but globally. The project lays the premises for operation and functional use of emerging production systems, such as semi-closed and closed containment systems, he says.

June 25, 2018, 10:41 a.m.

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cp: 2019-12-04 11:15:56