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Successfully integrating research infrastructures to support European aquaculture

The fourth and final publication in a series of booklets outlining the accomplishments of the EC-funded AQUAEXCEL (Aquaculture infrastructures for excellence in European fish research) project is now available to download from

The AQUAEXCEL Key Achievements booklet series outlines the significant activities and results of the project as it aimed to integrate key aquaculture research infrastructures across Europe in order to promote their coordinated use and development. AQUAEXCEL officially ended in February 2015. The project’s focus was on further improving the efficiency of aquaculture production and supporting European research activities in this area. Key AQUAEXCEL outputs that are highlighted in the Key Achievements 2014-2015 booklet include: details of the development, implementation and evaluation of technical solutions for providing remote access to highly specialised aquaculture research facilities; an inventory of aquaculture Research Infrastructure gaps in Europe; a report on the effect of biofilter scale on Total Ammonia Nitrogen (TAN) removal rate in closed aquaculture systems; and research into how reproductive hormone concentrations in the blood can be used as prospective candidate markers of maturation in male trout and in sea bass. Over the course of the project, AQUAEXCEL regularly invited proposals from European research groups for scientific research that utilised the facilities of the participating aquaculture Research Infrastructures as part of its Transnational Access programme. This edition of the booklet features a special section which gives an overview of interesting statistics regarding the programme. Results of research, carried out under the Transnational Access programme, are also highlighted in the booklet and include novel findings on: the effect of both male and female parental nutrition on the development of seahorse embryos; techniques for 3D monitoring of fish behaviour; and the effect of dietary arginine supplementation on the European sea bass immune response against vibriosis. AQUAEXCEL project coordinator, Marc Vandeputte, said: 'For us, AQUAEXCEL has been a successful experience, and we hope it will have a lasting impact on the EU aquaculture sector. Our team has developed an integrated approach to link and coordinate key Research Infrastructures in Europe in order to harmonise access, joint research, and networking. To build on this success, an enlarged AQUAEXCEL consortium has submitted a new project, AQUAEXCEL2020, to the EC. We look forward to continuing this aquaculture challenge towards 2020.' All four booklets in the AQUAEXCEL Key Achievements series are available to download from For press queries, please contact: Marieke Reuver, programme manager, AquaTT, Dublin, Ireland, email: web: Notes for Editors AQUAEXCEL had an overall budget of EUR 11.8 million and ended in February 2015. The project received a total of EUR 9.2 million of EU funding under the ‘Research Infrastructures' area of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), reflecting the EU’s interest in prioritising aquaculture and boosting the aquaculture sector by promoting research for competitiveness and environmental sustainability. AQUAEXCEL was coordinated by France’s Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) which led a strong partnership of sixteen institutions from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK. AquaTT was the project’s communications and dissemination partner. For more information, please visit:


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom