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IATIP News: IATiP identifies industry needs of the Irish aquaculture sector


Irish Aquaculture stakeholders gathered in Dublin in April for the second meeting of the Irish Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (IATiP), which aims to facilitate the exchange of information, support knowledge transfer and stimulate collective actions to help develop the sector.  Delegates were welcomed by Donal Maguire, Director BIM Seafood Technical Services Business Unit (STSBU) and Lucy Watson and Terence O’ Carroll also of the STSBU played a key role in running the workshop.

As an active multi-stakeholder platform, the IATiP will draw membership from the Irish aquaculture industry, aquaculture research providers and support agencies, with representatives from these sectors, public and civic bodies present at the event.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) are supporting this initiative by working to establish the IATiP as an independent legal entity and providing a neutral secretariat to oversee the initial phase of operations. Intrigo Ltd, the consulting organisation providing the secretarial support, designed the meeting in a way that would help establish the platform and ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of the sector.

The meeting opened with an introduction to EATiP, the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform. As a mirror platform (MiP) to this EU-wide structure, IATiP facilitates the implementation of the EATiP agenda at national and regional level in Ireland.  This introduction was followed by a presentation on potential models for the IATiP’s structure, governance and membership.

To stimulate networking and information exchange between attendees, a session was held specifically focusing on knowledge sharing. Alexandra Neyts (EATiP) presented her experiences of the technology and innovation platform model in Norway, noting its success to date. Georgia Bayliss-Brown (Intrigo Ltd) presented her contract work (funded through BIM) which bridges the gap between research and industry and ensures that the latest innovations are appraised and applied in the Irish aquaculture sector. David Murphy (Intrigo Ltd) outlined EATiP’s collaborations in South-East Asia and raised the question as to whether Ireland could benefit or find opportunity in such a collaboration. An open session allowing participants to present their existing and future research and development activity to the room saw presentations given by Frank Kane (Marine Institute), Anita Talbot (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology) and Alex Wan (National University Ireland, Galway).

For the meeting’s final session, Intrigo, EATiP and BIM representatives facilitated a discussion surrounding the challenges and barriers facing the Irish aquaculture sector, in which four topics were covered: Sustainable development, assuring conditions for growth, promoting innovation, and the structure, services and activities of IATiP.

A number of these findings will contribute to an EATiP position paper that will be submitted to the European Commission at the end of June and will also be used to guide Intrigo’s knowledge collection activities, as it searches for innovative solutions for the Irish aquaculture sector. Finally, those relating to the structure, services and activities of IATiP will inform the initial developmental stages of the Platform.