VirtualNetProject ID: 744621
H2020-EU.3.2.3. - Unlocking the potential of aquatic living resources
H2020-EU.3.2.5. - Cross-cutting marine and maritime research
Total cost:EUR 71 429
EU contribution:EUR 50 000
Topic(s):SMEInst-08-2016-2017 - Supporting SMEs efforts for the development - deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth
Call for proposal:H2020-SMEINST-1-2016-2017See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1
Over 50% of all wild fish landings in Europe, both in term of weight and value, is caught using trawl fishing gear. The trawler industry faces major challenges due to high cost of energy, by-catch, damaged escape fish and high carbon footprint. The biggest problem is exerted on bottom trawling (2/3 of all trawling), rightly criticised for damaging the seafloor habitat, exposing the industry to a reputation risk with potential loss of markets and a proposed EU/international ban.
The objective of the start-up company Optitog is to instigate and benefit from a paradigm shift in trawl fishing. The disruptive innovative solution, VirtualNet, replaces conventional trawl with a new type of fishing gear that herds fish using a virtual trawl-shaped net. The net is formed by projecting directed light through sea water, without touching the seafloor, leaving the benthic habitat undisturbed. The innovation reduces by-catch, leaves escape fish unharmed and dramatically reduces oil consumption.
Fuel cost in bottom trawling is responsible for 50% of the variable cost and 30% of total revenue. This amounts 0.8 litre of oil per kg edible white fish and 4 litres per kg of shrimp, contributing to global warming. Optitog’s VirtualNet offers 40% fuel savings over conventional trawls, making it a very attractive product for existing trawl fisheries. VirtualNet will pay off in less than a year, and after that greatly increase the profits of fisheries.
The outcome will be a fully integrated and controllable disruptive fishing solution, a virtual trawl, - a breakthrough in control and resource efficiency - ready for launch in 2020 into a 400 M€ European trawl fishing-gear market and later a 4.000 M€ global market.
EU contribution: EUR 50 000