The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre have opened a new call for proposals, offering grant funding for industry-led, collaborative R&D projects to align with innovation challenges within Scottish aquaculture.


  • Competition opens: 11 September 2020
  • Deadline for Expressions of Interest (EoI): 8 October 2020
  • Invitation to full application: 20 October 2020
  • Submission deadline for full applications: 26 November 2020

Applicants will be informed of the funding decisions by the end of February 2021.

Step 1 – eligibility

Does your project meet all of the following criteria?

  1. Contribute towards at least one of SAIC’s priority innovation actions (PIAs)?
  • PIA 1 Finfish health and welfare
  • PIA 2 Unlocking additional capacity
  • PIA 3 Shellfish and other non-finfish species
  1. Have at least one industry partner? (One must be the lead partner.)
  2. Have at least one Scottish research partner?
  3. Identify and address a commercial need?
  4. Deliver an economic benefit?

(see Guidance Notes at link below if you need more information)

If so, click here to find out more and fill out an expression of interest.

Priority Innovation Areas (PIAs)

PIA1: Addressing environmental and health challenges, particularly sea lice and gill disease, and developing feeds that optimise fish health and nutrition.

PIA2: Unlocking additional capacity in Scottish Aquaculture.

PIA3: Shellfish and other non-finfish species.

Each project SAIC co-funds should contribute to one of the three PIAs outlined above. Equally, it must be a collaboration with at least one industry partner based in Scotland and one Scottish Higher Education Institution.

Projects must be innovative in their approach or lead to innovative solutions that will help support the Scottish aquaculture sector and associated supply chain.

How do SAIC define innovation? As something novel that creates measurable value – be it commercial, economic, social or public – both for the sector itself and the Scottish economy.

In SAIC’s first five years, the majority of the collaborative projects that were funded involved more than one industry partner, in many cases multiple industry partners. And in around half of the projects, more than one university or research institution was also involved. SAIC believe this increases the spread of knowledge and access to know-how across the aquaculture sector – both industrial and academic. SAIC therefore encourage applications of this kind, which command widespread support from across the sector.

Typically, the projects that SAIC co-funds sit within TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 4 to 7.

Who can apply?

Any company that is active within Scottish aquaculture or a related sector (including those headquartered overseas but having operations in Scotland), and that is willing to contribute resources to the project – be it cash, in-kind or a combination of both – is eligible to apply.

In collaboration with an industry partner, any recognised Scottish higher education institution (HEI) can also apply. Scottish research institutes and other higher education institutions from across the UK and elsewhere may participate as sub-contracted parties to the main academic research lead.

Industry or academic, all participating partners must be a member of the SAIC Consortium. Not already a member? It’s free and easy to join: email for details.

If you would like help or guidance with your application, contact our Aquaculture expert, Tim Messeder.