Aqua-tnet is the European Thematic Network in the field of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management. The network is presently funded under the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, running from 2011-2014. The project will cover the following work packages:
- WP1 - European Master Cooperation
- WP2 - European PhD Collaboration
- WP3 - Aqua-tnet on the move (Mobility)
- WP4 - Generic skills for future success
- WP5 - Innovative Lifelong Learning
- WP6 - Stakeholder Cooperation
- WP7 - Dissemination and Outreach
- WP8 - Exploitation of Results
- WP9 - Quality Assurance
- WP10 - Project Management
Aquaculture is a recognised future option to provide animal protein to the increasing population since it is an efficient user of feed and water resources, and fish is a unique source of unsaturated fatty acids that have significant health benefits.
The Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) is a regional centre of excellence and an important representative in various European initiatives aiming at aquaculture development. This has been recognised as an unexplored opportunity to contribute to the improvement of rural livelihoods in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, where the low technological level of fish farming provides significant scope for innovation.
The objective of the proposal is to strengthen the research potential of HAKI in order to become the leading research and innovation knowledge centre in the field of freshwater aquaculture development in the CEE region, which could subsequently act as a driving force of technological development and improvement of the fish product supply in the region. In the frame of the project, HAKI will acquire new knowledge, competencies in the field of research, innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) development, build strategic partnerships with outstanding research partner organisations, mobilise human resources, enhance research capacity and develop its research infrastructure. In order to achieve the enhancement of its innovation potential, HAKI will collaborate actively with three leading European research entities, an IP office and a SME during the implementation of the project activities.
Agricultural practices put the biggest pressure on fresh water resources for irrigation (55% of the water use in Europe) and on fertilizer usage. The European farmers face serious problems such as freshwater scarcity and nutrient availability, extreme climate conditions and the growing demand of the increasing population. This results in rising prices for mineral fertilizers and food, risky measures such as untreated wastewater applications on fields, and environmental damages from overexploitation of resources.
Even though important local efforts have been made on research activities and initiatives for wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture, an integrated approach is needed among regions which are developing such research, incentivizing scientific, governmental and business collaboration within wastewater reuse in Europe and supporting the establishment of common European guidelines and parameters for water and nutrient exploitation efficiency.
In this sense, the main goal of this project is to develop technologies offering a transnational cooperation service within “research-driven clusters”, involving universities, regional authorities, research centres, technology developers, enterprises, farmers, and farmerA/s associations related to wastewater treatment and to agriculture from five different countries: Germany, Spain, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria. Such service will provide and facilitate exchange of know-how on alternatives for water and nutrient resources for all project members, create business opportunities in the area of focus and further expand support to stakeholders from countries outside the consortium.
Project reference: 319998
Total cost: EUR 1 610 484
EU contribution: EUR 1 402 043
Programme acronym: FP7-REGIONS
Subprogramme area: REGIONS-2012-2013-1
Contract type: Coordination (or networking) actions
The BYEFOULING project will address high volume production of low toxic and environmentally friendly antifouling coatings for mobile and stationary maritime applications. The technology will fulfil the coating requirements as a result of the incorporation of novel antifouling agents and a new set of binders into coating formulations for maritime transportation and fishing vessels, floating devices and aquaculture.
The main vision of BYEFOULING is to provide the means for industrial, cost-effective and robust manufacturing of antifouling coatings in Europe, where SMEs are both coating components developers and production technology providers. A set of procedures, guidelines and fabrication tools will be developed, enabling short time to market for new coating concepts. The main goal of BYEFOULING is to design, develop and upscale antifouling coatings with enhanced performance compared to current available products. The approach in BYEFOULING is to tackle the different stages of the biofouling process using innovative antifouling agents, covering surface-structured materials, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, natural biocides and microorganisms with antifouling properties. Encapsulation of the innovative compounds in smart nanostructured materials will be implemented to optimize coating performance and cost all along their life cycle. A proof-of-concept for the most promising candidates will be developed and demonstrators will be produced and tested on fields. BYEFOULING will combine a multidisciplinary leading research team from 11 European countries, which are already acting worldwide in the scientific community, with highly relevant and skilled technological partners, to build a consortium able to develop a full production line for antifouling coatings in Europe. Readily available low toxic and cost-effective antifouling coatings will increase the efficiency of maritime industry and be the enabling technology to realize new products.
Project reference: 612717
Status: In progress
Total cost: EUR 9 969 964
EU contribution: EUR 7 447 584
Programme acronym: FP7-KBBE
Subprogramme area: OCEAN 2013.3
Contract type: Collaborative project
The objective of the EnviGuard project is to develop a highly specific and precise (i.e. quantitative and qualitative) in situ measurement device for currently hard to measure man-made chemical contaminants and biohazards (toxic microalgae, viruses & bacteria, biotoxins & PCBs) that can be used as an early warning system in aquaculture and as an environmental monitor to assess the good environmental status of the sea in compliance with the MSFD. It will be more cost-efficient than current monitoring devices leading to a clear marketing advantage for the European analytical and research equipment industry.
The modular system will consist of three different sensor modules (microalgae/pathogens/ toxins & chemicals) integrated into a single, portable device, which saves, displays and sends the collected data real time to a server by means of mobile data transmission and the internet. EnviGuard will be able to accomplish this also in real-time for a period of at least one week without maintenance in an offshore, marine surrounding. User of EnviGuard can access their data online any time they need to. Potential fields of use are marine environment pollution monitoring, marine research and quality control in seawater aquaculture, a sector in Europe highly occupied by SMEs. The biosensors developed in the project go far beyond the current state-of-the art in terms of accuracy, reliability and simplicity in operation by combining innovations in nanotechnology and molecular science leading to the development cutting edge sensor technology putting European research and highly innovative SMEs in the forefront of quickly developing markets.
Project reference: 614057
Status: In progress
Total cost: EUR 7 177 126,82
EU contribution: EUR 5 523 461
Programme acronym: FP7-KBBE
Subprogramme area: OCEAN 2013.1