This is the fifth group to start on the Pathfinder Accelerator programme, developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The programme was planned to be held in Fort William, but with face to face sessions unable to take place due to the COVID-19 crisis, the sessions will now be hosted virtually.
We realise this is a very worrying time for our clients and the wider community, and we are working with our partners and government to ensure we do everything we can to support our region during this crisis.
The research and development project called the Celtic Crustacean Collaboration is being led by Argyll based firm, CuanTec Limited, working with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS).
Both are based at the European Marine Science Park (EMSP) near Oban. They are working with Versatile Packaging in the Republic of Ireland and with Northern Ireland firm, Kilkeel Seafoods.
Over the next three years the project is expected to lead to the creation of up to 13 new jobs in Argyll.
Photo Credit - with thanks to The Oban Times.
Given Argyll and Bute's strategic location on the west coast and abundant natural resources, there is great potential for the area to become a centre of seaweed farming in Scotland.
SAMS ( Scottish Association for Marine Science) had been commissioned by Argyll and Bute Council, and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to bring together information to help provide a template for local seaweed farming.
Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to invest in Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.
Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre has secured a £10 million funding deal to carry it forward over the next five years in its Phase 2 of operations. It is expected to be supplemented by £3.5 million from third party grants and income generated from the sale of its own services.
SAIC plans to grow innovation in aquaculture by bringing multiple partners together from across the UK, and to be able to leverage more funding. There will be a focus on engaging with small businesses.
There will also be more work with undergraduates and schools to help raise awareness of the many career opportunities in aquaculture. SAIC will continue to back the Women In Aquaculture network as part of this development strand.
A total of £50,000 is being invested to help increase the number of women working in Scottish aquaculture.
The funding will deliver a mentoring scheme to support women already working in the sector to develop their careers, and a website to promote aquaculture and job opportunities to women.
The Scottish Government will provide £20,000 to Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA), with a further £30,000 of industry sponsorship. In 2018 only 11% of salmon farm workers and 15% of shellfish farm workers were women.
Scientists taking part in the largest-ever Arctic expedition will use technology developed by SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL), to measure sea ice melting.
The German Research Vessel Polarstern has arrived in the Arctic where it will lock itself in the sea-ice and drift for an entire year. Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.
As part of the research activity, polar scientists will deploy up to 18 hi-tech devices, developed by SRSL, known as Sea Ice Mass Balance Arrays (SIMBA), which can remotely measure the location, thickness and the melting rate of sea ice.
CuanTec Ltd, the blue biotech company based in Motherwell and Oban, has completed an investment round with Sky Ocean Ventures and Scottish Enterprise that will enable them to process at pilot production scale and finalise their formulations. The investment will also create new jobs at the CuanTec lab at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology at the EMSP on the outskirts of Oban.
CuanTec Ltd extracts chitin from shellfish waste. Using a clean, energy-efficient method, they then convert this chitin into chitosan, which is used to manufacture an antimicrobial, compostable bio-plastic, directly addressing the problems of plastic pollution and food waste in the world.
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