INvertebrateIT regroups as disruptive, sustainable, aquaculture feed projects respond to call

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By Milthon Lujan

The INvertebrateIT partners are eager to continue their work promoting and commercialising innovative and sustainable solutions for aquaculture feeds after a successful midway meeting in Dublin, Ireland on 12-13 April 2018.

The collective progress was reviewed at the meeting. One important output, the INvertebrateIT Strategic Joint Vision and Roadmap (including an Investment Plan) is soon to be launched and will cover the value chain of the production of invertebrates, such as insects, for sustainable fish feeds, competitive aquaculture and integrated waste management.

Also discussed was the project’s next steps which will focus on developing industrial opportunities using invertebrates for feeds for value added waste management, aquaculture diversification and other innovative value chains. The consortium strategized on how to mobilise and coordinate vital investment for the three bankable projects recently selected by open contest (IPATAC, EntoGreen and MUSFLOUR) – where the projects’ identified needs are being mapped against expertise to create a plan for action in order to develop these opportunities further. In addition to assisting these projects, the consortium intends to deliver results also to the whole sector by increasing awareness and visibility for sustainable and competitive aquaculture. Planned actions include bringing closer together the different sub-sectors to produce valuable animal proteins (including insects and marine invertebrates) and the proper valorisation of unused resources; and, the publication of society- and policy-facing infographics on the topic.

Over the next twelve months, the INvertebrateIT project partners will work with the three selected projects, providing them with focused resources, tailored capacity-building and access to investment support services. While the original objective was to boost the investment readiness level of the winning projects to pre-commercial level, the quality and status of the three chosen projects was more advanced than expected, with one already launched to market. The consortium has already planned how to address this challenge and has developed a revised strategy to ensure that the correct support is provided and that INvertebrateIT exceeds expectations.

The consortium also remains open to supporting new innovative initiatives on the issues, in the framework of providing information on different funding tools identified at both European, national and regional levels of the partner countries.

Luis Lozano from Innogate-to-Europe and the project’s co-manager is pleased with INvertebrateIT’s progress so far:

“We are one year in and our progress has been good. Working in a disruptive sector, our consortium has brought together a colourful collection of individuals that you often don’t find in a European project: industry clusters from maritime aquaculture sectors; aquaculture farmers and insect breeders; visionary entrepreneurs; veterinarians; public administrators; science communicators; and innovation specialists. It’s exciting seeing so many people come together with different backgrounds and ideas to explore this new niche market”.

For more information on INvertebrateIT and the three winning projects, please visit: www.invertebrateitproject.eu 

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