Aquainnova, financed by the EU FP7 programme, is creating an operational framework for dialogue, based on best governance practises, between the aquaculture industry, the research community and policy makers, focusing on exploiting the potential for innovation and technological development in the European aquaculture value chain. It actively promotes the exploitation, dissemination and communication of Community aquaculture RTD research actions and results, looking to improve the manner in which the knowledge generated is efficiently and effectively managed, disseminated and transferred. As such, it directly supports the activities of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATIP), which was created in 2008 for the purpose of identifying and implementing actions so as to improve the competitiveness of professional European aquaculture and related industries, specifically through the application of knowledge-based activities. The EATIP is composed of representative companies and organisations that are active within the aquaculture value chain and research institutes and universities.
Series of workshops to give input to vision documents
Over recent months, EATIP has focused on stakeholder development of vision documents and strategic research and innovation agendas for each of the sectoral components of European aquaculture. These documents, currently undergoing an internal consultation by EATIP members, will become available on the newly re-developed EATIP website www.eatip.eu , and the next phase of the Aquainnova initiative is to organise a series of consultation workshops so that all stakeholders can contribute to the finalisation of these documents and the prioritisation of research needed to achieve them. The first workshop in Warsaw will include the following sessions:
Sharing the vision
Within the general policy framework “Europe 2020, the Innovation Union,” this opening session will explain the background on Aquainnova and how the workshop will function - the idea being to provide a broad picture of European policies and the current position of European aquaculture within these. The overall EATIP Vision for European aquaculture developed within Aquainnova will form the basis for discussion on how to fit freshwater aquaculture within these desires.
Consumer and producer issues
This session will give the introduction to the key issues considered by the individual ETAIP Thematic Area documents – with specific considerations directed towards freshwater aquaculture. Consumer issues cover needs, regional preference(s), products, certification and standards. Producer issues are varied and cover a range of mainly technical topics, including systems, disease control, predators and other environmental issues. The discussion here will focus on the key issues, the legislative constraints and other influencing factors.
Socio-economic and knowledge issues
This session will focus on the ‘horizontal’ conditions of development affecting freshwater aquaculture, with a view to how businesses will operate in the future and how knowledge management, transfer of research, training and networking will develop.
Identifying strategic research priorities
The key points of the EATIP Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda relative to freshwater aquaculture will be the basis for discussion and debate to prioritise key issues identified by theme. This will be the main session where stakeholders will work in small thematic groups and define the ranking of research needs. Participants will be able to move from one group to another and representatives of each EATIP Thematic Area will provide background, where required. The outcomes of these discussions will be presented in the last sessions on day 2.
Each research priority has a number of supporting tools that are available to enact it. Discussion on the type of projects, the makeup of potential consortia (e.g. academic research, joint research actions with industry...), current and future funding schemes at EU, national and regional level and the assurance that the results get to the sector will be the key components of this session.
The workshop will conclude with presentations of the key issues from the debates of day 1, followed by the priority listings that need resolution from research and innovation. These will be divided into the appropriate means of action and the associate funding tool(s) and hence provide a roadmap for the development of the sector.
More detailed information including registration details are available at the EATIP web site. So if you are involved in European freshwater aquaculture development, the Warsaw Aquainnova workshop in June is an absolute must.