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  • Final Report Summary - AQUAREDPOT (Improvement of research and innovation potential of Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) to promote technological development in Central and Eastern European aquaculture)
FP7

AQUAREDPOT Streszczenie raportu

Project ID: 316266
Źródło dofinansowania: FP7-REGPOT
Kraj: Hungary

Final Report Summary - AQUAREDPOT (Improvement of research and innovation potential of Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) to promote technological development in Central and Eastern European aquaculture)

Executive Summary:
Although aquaculture is the fastest-growing food producing sector in the world, the EU aquaculture production has been stagnating for a long time, and the majority of the seafood consumed in the EU comes from import. Freshwater aquaculture development in the Central and Eastern European region (CEE) is as an unexplored opportunity to contribute to growth in EU aquaculture production and to increase fish consumption in CEE region. The Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) (from 01.01.2014: National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre, Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture, NARIC HAKI) is a regional centre of excellence and has leading role in the exchange of knowledge and technological development of aquaculture in the CEE region.
The objective of the AQUAREDPOT project was to strengthen the research potential of HAKI by building strategic partnerships with outstanding partner institutions (IFREMER, France; NOFIMA, Norway and Wageningen University, the Netherlands), acquiring new knowledge and competences, recruiting new researchers, developing its research infrastructure, increasing the visibility of the institute and improving Intellectual Property (IP) management.
During the project, 17 mutual visits were realized to and from the partner institutions, with the involvement of a total of 48 experts. In addition, seven training courses were held at HAKI or the partner institutions for a total of circa 100 participants. The visits mainly served for gaining new knowledge and skills and for strengthening strategic cooperation with the partners. Twinning with partnering organisations broadened the scope of HAKI for international cooperation, including joint participation in ongoing H2020 projects.
9 persons were recruited to HAKI in the frame of AQUAREDPOT project, including 4 Hungarian and 5 foreign researchers and industrial experts. The following research fields were strengthened with the arrival of new scientists: Fish nutrition; Fish genetics and breeding; Rearing technology development; Production system engineering. During the project period 14 peer-reviewed publications were published by these researchers in their respective research fields including 7 with an impact factor higher than 1.
Infrastructure development activities contributed (i) to the establishment of a “pond-in-pond” system consisting of 16 units enabling further research in combined intensive-extensive farming technologies and (ii) to the upgrading of the experimental recirculating system, including the installation of a semi-industrial scale unit suitable for demonstration activities.
The dissemination activities (organising farmer forum and workshops on novel farming technologies; handbooks; new website) created a good basis to inform people about the newly upgraded human and infrastructure capacities. Better visibility of the institute improved relations with stakeholders.
The project also developed the innovation management and intellectual property (IP) handling of the institute to facilitate the exploitation of knowledge generated at HAKI. A basic-level IP training was held at HAKI and a new IP management strategy was established for the institute. Principles of writing feasibility studies were laid down so that it can stimulate commercialization of HAKI’s R&Đ results in the future.

Project Context and Objectives:
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, while fish is a unique source of unsaturated fatty acids with significant health benefits. It is also the fastest-growing food producing sector in the world. In spite of this rapid growth on a global scale, the EU aquaculture production has been stagnating for a long time. More than sixty percent of the seafood consumed in the EU comes from import. Aquaculture can contribute to the overall objective of filling the gap between EU consumption and production of seafood in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The growing expectations from consumers for quality and diversity of food products, especially if locally produced, offer new possibilities to give value to the assets of coastal and inland areas. Coordinated action at local level between entrepreneurs, public authorities, associations, research, education and training organisations can help stimulating local economies and meet the growing demand for locally, sustainably produced seafood. (COM(2013) 229 final)
The new „Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture”, tries to give an impetus to the growth of aquaculture in the EU. The European Commission pursued efforts in aquaculture R&D and allocated EU budget to aquaculture projects to further develop the knowledge base for sustainable and competitive aquaculture practices.
The profile of the EU aquaculture sector changed after the EU enlargement when 10 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries joined the EU in 2004 and in 2007. In spite of significant efforts aiming at the modernization of the sector in the CEE countries using the European Maritime and Fisheries Funds there is a gap between the technical level, intensity and quality of aquaculture production in Western and Eastern Europe. Freshwater aquaculture development is still an unexplored opportunity in the CEE region to contribute to the improvement of rural livelihoods and also to increase of fish consumption, which is unacceptably low in the region.
The Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) (from 01.01.2014: National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre, Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture, NARIC HAKI) is a regional centre of excellence and an important representative in various European initiatives aiming at aquaculture development. It also has a leading role in the exchange of knowledge and networking of aquaculture centres in the CEE region, being the initiator of the establishment of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central and Eastern Europe (NACEE, http://agrowebcee.net/nacee/). However, to maintain its position, NARIC HAKI (hereafter: HAKI) requires a significant institutional and infrastructural upgrading and capacity building. Its research infrastructure had grown old and obsolete in many respects in the last decades and there is a need of development of human resources and networking capital.
The overall objective of the project was to strengthen the research potential of HAKI in order to become a leading research and innovation knowledge centre in the field of freshwater aquaculture development in the CEE region, and subsequently act as a driving force of technological development and improvement of the fish product supply in the region.
The overall objective of project (strengthening the research potential of HAKI) was aimed to be achieved by:
• Building strategic partnerships with outstanding research partner organisations (IFREMER, France; NOFIMA, Norway and Wageningen University, the Netherlands)
• Developing human resources through (i) recruitment of new researchers/experts in the following research fields: aquaculture engineering, genetics, breeding, fish nutrition, rearing technologies, aquatic ecology; (ii) acquiring new knowledge and skills during short-term visits made at partner institutions and (iii) holding trainings courses for younger staff of HAKI
• Upgrading physical infrastructure by (i) the establishment of an experimental pond-in-pond system that would enable HAKI to carry out R&D in combined intensive-extensive aquaculture technologies and by (ii) development of the experimental recirculating system, including the installation of a semi-industrial scale unit suitable for demonstration activities.
• Improving Intellectual Property (IP) and innovation management at HAKI by (i) organising basic-level IP training and awareness raising for researchers of HAKI; (ii) conducting an IP diagnosis on the existing vales of HAKI; (iii) development of an IP management system and portfolio; (iv) development of an innovation management strategy and (v.) determining the content of feasibility studies made by HAKI to industrial partners to stimulate commercialisation of R&Đ results in the future.
• Increasing the visibility of HAKI through (i) sharing knowledge in two international workshops organized by the project (one on novel outdoor aquaculture technologies and one on recirculating aquaculture technologies); (ii) publishing handbooks as an outcome of workshops; (iii) promotion of extension service of HAKI in agriculture exhibitions visited by farmers; (iv) developing a new website for HAKI available in 4 languages; (v) presentation of the newly acquired infrastructure to farmers, scientist and public
By setting these objectives the project was addressed to tackle a variety a challenges faced by R&D centres in the CEE region hindering them in successful participation in H2020 programs. It was expected that after the completion of the project HAKI would increase its participation in international research projects and it would be able to transfer the results generated in R&D projects to the industry.

Project Results:
Establishment of strategic partnerships and human capacity building by twinning program
The main objectives of twinning program carried out with partner institutions (IFREMER, France; NOFIMA, Norway and Wageningen University, the Netherlands) were the exchange of know-how and experience, the development of strategic partnerships and the integration of HAKI into mainstream aquaculture research.
In the frame of the project, 17 visits were realized to and from the partner institutions, with the involvement of a total of 48 researchers in the following research topics/fields: Fish welfare; Ecotoxicology; Food and fish meat quality; Integrated aquaculture technologies; Environmental impact assessment and ecosystem services; Waste management and water treatment; Fish nutrition; Novel aquaculture technologies; Indoor experimental system upgrading, RAS technologies; Genetics and selective breeding; Technology transfer of the scientific results; Project management, know-how transfer.
The visits mainly served for strengthening strategic cooperation with the partners, getting acquainted with each others’ technological advances and complementary research areas serving as a basis for the development of joint project proposals.
As a result of the cooperation, three H2020 projects are already ongoing that involve both HAKI and at least one of our partnering organisations as project beneficiaries:
• AquaSpace (Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture - No. 633476): both HAKI and IFREMER are partners of the project consortium. The 3-year-long project started in March 2015.
• AQUAEXCEL 2020 (Aquaculture infrastructures for Excellence in European fish research towards 2020 - No. 652831). The 5-year-long project started in October 2015. HAKI, IFREMER, NOFIMA and Wageningen University are all participants in the project, making room for joint research activities in the future, especially through the “trans-national access (TA) to Research infrastructures” component. The Combined Intenstive-Extensive system (pond in pond system) built in the AQUREDPOT project (WP4) and the upgraded indoor disease challenge system can be utilized by other European research groups to conduct outdoor rearing/feeding and indoor immunology experiments.
• ClimeFish (Co-creating a decision support framework to ensure sustainable fish production in Europe under climate change – No. 677039) The project will start on 1 April, 2016, and close cooperation is envisaged between NOFIMA and HAKI in the field of identification of impacts of climate change on aquaculture technologies.
In addition to joint H2020 project cooperation, the nutritionist teams of HAKI and NOFIMA generated a private funded project: Pannonia Zrt, which is an ethanol producer subsidizes research of HAKI and NOFIMA related to the utilization of DDGS (a byproduct of ethanol processing) in carp feeds.
Apart from the two-way visits seven training courses were held at HAKI or the partner institutions for a total of cc. 100 participants in the following topics: biosecurity in aquaculture (2013, Szarvas); RAS technologies and integrated outdoor fish culture systems (2014, Szarvas); fish nutrition (2014, Szarvas); novel aquaculture technologies (2014, Wageningen); recent advances in fish nutrition (2014, Wageningen); publication skills (2015, Szarvas); experimental design and statistical analysis (2015, Szarvas); H2020 basic training (2015, Szarvas)
The training courses created excellent opportunities to improve the participants’ scientific knowledge and provide them a network to meet with experienced lecturers and young scientists of other agricultural research institutes.

Recruitment of expert researchers for prioritised research areas
In the field of human resource development, a total of 9 persons were recruited to HAKI, including 4 Hungarian and 5 foreign researchers and industrial experts. The following research fields were strengthened with the arrival of new sicentists: Fish nutrition; Fish genetics and breeding; Rearing technology development; Production system engineering.
They were involved of into the ongoing domestic and international projects that were complementary to AQUAREDPOT such that the personnel cost of the recruited experts were financed from AQUAREDPOT, while the consumable costs of the experiments originated from the complementary projects.
During the lifetime of AQUAREDPOT project they achieved scientific results in the following fields:
• Application of processed animal protein (PAP) and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) as possible local ingredients to replace fish meal from fish diets
• Effect of feeding common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in early stage with plant-based diet on its subsequent utilization
• Acceptance and adequate utilization of microencapsulated feeds with common carp larvae
• The physiological effects of heat-shock protein (HSP-70) in common carp juveniles exposed to physical, chemical and biological stress
• Population genetic analysis on different pikeperch (Sander lucioperca)populations based on microsatellite markers
• Comparative performance test of six crossbred common carp lines in intensive pond culture
• Further development in the long-term transportation methodology of the “dry” fertilized common carp egg
• The foundation of the European catfish (Silurus glanis) ex situ live gene bank for selective breeding purposes
• Further development in the artificial propagation technology of the pikeperch
• Development in the larvae culture and nursing technology of percid fishes in RAS
• The elaboration of weaning technology for pond nursed pikeperch juveniles in RAS
• Comparison of reproductive and growth performance of wild and intensively reared pikeperch in RAS

Several publications were submitted by the recruited experts. During the project period 14 peer-reviewed publications were published by the researchers including 7 with an impact factor higher than 1.The recruited experts were properly integrated into the research community of HAKI.

Upgraded infrastructure to improve the conditions of quality research
Within the frame of infrastructure development, a 16-unit “pond-in-pond” system was installed in HAKI’s experimental ponds. This will enable HAKI to test 2x2 factors with 4 replications during feeding and rearing trials aiming at the improvement of combined intensive-extensive technologies. Each of 16 tanks has a volume of 12 m3 and the tank are equipped with airlift boxes with aeration grid for aeration and water movement; side channel blowers; automatic feeders and electric boxes with the necessary fuses and sockets.
The reconstruction and upgrading of HAKI’s old experimental Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) was finished by April 2015. By the modernization small and medium sized units with independent water circles have been constructed which provide appropriate methodological conditions for simultaneously running independent experiments. The following units were established in the experimental RAS:
• An R&D demonstration facility with 4 tanks of 10 m3 each as a basis for the related educational and practical training activities. It also enables HAKI to scale up research results achieved in smaller tanks. This system consists of the following equipment: 4 fish tanks (PP fish tank 10 m3 with screenes and sludge collector); 1 drum filter (60 micron mesh size, 90 m3/hours water flows at 25 mg/l suspended solid, closed construction with frame and by-pass); 2 blowers (120 m3/hour airflow at 0.2 bar); 1 NaOH dosing pump (0,4-2,2 l/h); an UV system (Open channel UV system for 90 m3/hours water flow, 8X80watt capacity at min.80% transparency); 2 Recirculation pumps (Q = 26,6 liter/s, H’ = 4,8 m); 1 Biofilter tank and pump sump (Plastic, placed in concrete sump divided into three sections I.Biofilter-V= 12 m3, 2,0 m x 3,0 m; Water level: 2,0 m II. Biofilter- V= 8 m3, 2,0 m x 2,0 m; Water level: 2,0 m Pump sump: V= 4 m3, 2,0 m x 1,0 m; Water level: 2,0 m); 10 m3 Biomedia (850 m2/m3 active surface area); 4 Oxygen cones (35m3/h water flow, min. 6 l O2/min, diameter 550 mm); 4 Course bubble air diffusers(120 m3/h airflow capacity); 1 Collector and UV tank (2 pieces of collector tanks, parameters: 1,0 m x 0,5 m; Water level: 0,8 m 1 piece of UV tank 1,0 m x 0,2 m; Water level: 0,8 m); 1 Ozone generator with reactor tank (80 g/hour ozone production, 15 m3/h water treatment, PLC control unit);1 Protein skimmer (max. 15 m3/h water flow); 4 ceramic diffusers (6 l oxigen/min oxigen); 4 feeders (20kg tank with controller); 1 vacuum airlift.
• Nursing (Fingerling) Unit with 18 tanks of 1 m3 each. This system will ensure suitable conditions for the execution of feeding experiments. Equipments of the nursing unit are: 6 Blowers (Q= 12 m3/h 225 mbar); 3 NaOH dosing pumps (Q= 0,23-0,75 l/h); 3 Rotameters (400-4000liter/h); 6 Recirculating pumps (Q = 3,33 liter/s, H’ = 3,4 m.v.o); 3 UV Systems (Open channel, 12 m3/h water flow); 3 Ozone generator with reactor tanks (10 g/hour ozone production, 3 m3/h water treatment, PLC control unit); 3 Drum filters (60 micron mesh size 12 m3/hours water flows at 25 mg/l suspended solid, closed construction with by-pass); 3 Oxygen cones (20m3/h Water flow, min. 2,8 l O2/min, 0.1 bar); 3 Biofilter tank and pump sump (Plastic, placed in concrete sump divided into two sections I.Biofilter-V= 3 m33, 1,0 m x 3,0 m; Water level: 1,0 m II. Pump sump: V= 0,2 m3, 0,2 m x 1,0 m; Water level: 1,0 m); 4,5 m3 Biological filter (850 m2/m3 active surface); 6 Course bubble air diffusers (20 m3/h air reconstitution); 18 Fish tanks (V= 1 m3, Ř 1,3 m; Water level: 0,8 m); 3 Protein skimmers (max. 4 m3/h water flow); 18 Ceramic diffusers; 20 Feeders
• Broodfish System with 3 tanks of 8 m3 each. The broodfish system will ensure the keeping, rearing, as well as the preparation for the (out of season) propagation of broodfish. This will be guaranteed by the suitable water temperature and via ensuring conditions for manipulation according to photoperiod. Equipments of the broodfish system: 1 Beed filter with automatic back wash (Q= 3,3 l/s, mechanical and biological filtering); 1 UV system (open channel for 12 m3/h water flow); 1 Head tank (V = 500 liter, 1,0 m x 0,5 m; Water level: 1,0 m); 1 Collector tank (1,0 m x 1,0 m; Water level: 1 m); 3 Ceramic diffusers (2.8 l oxigen/min); 2 Recirculation pumps (Q = 3,4 liter/s, H’ = 14 m.v.o); 3 Feeders
• Infection system with 24 tanks (0.1 m3 each). This system is suitable for challange test. This system is equipped with a UV system (2 pc UV lamps 2x75W) and a heating and cooling system (Temperature control between 5 and 30 centrigrade)
Complementary to developments funded by the AQUAREDPOT project, further infrastructure developments were made in the frame of a national project funded by the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme (HOP) in 2015: additional RAS systems were constructed to ensure the complete implementation of rearing technology and genetic experiments.

Improved Intellectual Property (IP) and innovation management at HAKI
An elementary level industrial property course were held at Szarvas by lecturers from the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office. 10 researchers partake in the course and acquired a basic level certificate on IPR. Knowledge was also acquired in industrial property law, patent documentation and registration of trademarks and industrial designs and in online searching in patent databases. Researchers of HAKI got aware of the importance of industrial protection and in the future they will tend to consider the possibilities for patenting the research results before they publish it so that the economic benefit is maximized.
Building on the acquired knowledge an Intellectual Property diagnosis were done in the field of aquaculture to identify the research fields of HAKI where IP can be developed. The following fields were recognized as promising grounds to establish IP in the future: i) Wastewater treatment; ii) Fish rearing and feeding technologies generating functional seafood; iii) Feed recipes with alternative ingredients; iv) Aquaculture engineering solutions for low-investment RAS and pond-in-pond tank; v) Software to optimize feeding, water management, biomass management. In the frame of the project an IP Right Management System was prepared for NARIC-HAKI by the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office to facilitate protection of results in the future.
In addition to this an Innovation management Strategy was formed to outline actions to be taken to address the main strengths and weaknesses of current physical and intangible capital of HAKI and the external factors affecting (facilitating or inhibiting) the use and exploitation of its capital in the innovation process. Indicators were developed as tools for monitoring of how objectives are met in the future. Those research directions were also determined that were identified as strategic areas in regional aquaculture development.
Principles of writing feasibility studies were laid down so that it can stimulate commercialization of HAKI’s R&Đ results in the future. Now HAKI has capabilities to i) prepare technical engineering plans for different farm sizes; to ii) prepare feeding plan and biomass management plan; to iii) to conduct analysis on economies and diseconomies of size to optimize the size of the investment; and iv) to carry out economic analysis based on enterprise budget with sensitivity analysis for major influencing biological and economic factors.
The above described outcomes of the project will facilitate the structuring and exploitation of knowledge generated at HAKI during research programs and will contribute to increased technology transfer to the industry.

Potential Impact:
It is expected that the increased human and physical research capacity of HAKI, combined with the better visibility and recognition of the institute and its improved relations with stakeholders in the long term will bring the institute significant influence over regional aquaculture development. Twinning with partnering organisations broadened the scope of HAKI for international cooperation, as well as created and will further create fruitful cooperation in European-level research projects. A high quality research team and a top-of-the-class physical research infrastructure at regional level will enable better involvement into H2020 projects.

The scientific network of HAKI was expanded with the contribution of the newly recruited experts from India, Serbia, Romania, and the goal is to further strengthen joint institutional activities by the establishment of research cooperation agreements (e.g. MoU).
Consultancy work in the future toward farmers will be helped by the demonstration fish rearing system that enables HAKI to run experiments at a semi-industrial scale, and to understand problems arising from non-optimal growth performance occurring at large-scale recirculating systems.

As aquaculture has been recognized as an important sector in fish supply deserving more attention and support in the future, the European Commission will put more efforts into the modernization of freshwater fish farming. It is expected that several project calls funded by Structural funds (EMFF, ERDF) will be available for aquaculture development to exploit the potential of the sector (employment generation, rural development and increasing fish consumption). These funds will provide further opportunities to HAKI to work jointly with farmers and other stakeholders on the modernization of the sector and will contribute to sustaining the results achieved in the AQUAREDPOT project.

The dissemination activities in the project were aiming at spreading excellence and disseminating knowledge generated by the newly recruited researchers and/or resulting from the newly upgraded research infrastructure during the project period. Main tools of planned dissemination activities were the following:
• conferences (kick-off conference and closure conference),
• organisation of international workshops,
• participation at agricultural exhibitions,
• development of handbooks,
• institutional website (www.haki.hu)
• development of institutional leaflet, presentation of project results at conferences, publications by the recruited researchers, roll-up, media coverage,
• on-site presentation of the newly developed/upgraded systems to visitors.
These activities will provide a strong recognition to HAKI as a leading innovation centre in CEE. Better visibility of HAKI will also bring Hungarian researchers closer to other stakeholders of fish farming (farmers, potential investors, policy makers, regional and local government, environmentalists, education, etc.), which will facilitate the inclusion of the stakeholders’ opinion, ideas, needs and requirements into R&D programs done at HAKI.

List of Websites:
http://aquaredpot.haki.hu/

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Kontakt

Gergő Gyalog, (Program Officer)
Tel.: +36 30 5079949
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Numer rekordu: 183759 / Ostatnia aktualizacja: 2016-06-06
Źródło informacji: SESAM