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Call for PhD Projects in Sustainable Feeds for Finfish

21 December 2015

SCOTLAND, UK - The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) and Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) invite funding applications for PhD projects which consider biotechnology solutions to the supply of sustainable feed ingredients for the benefit of both the industrial biotechnology (IB) and aquaculture industries in Scotland.


SAIC supports the growth and profitability of the Scottish aquaculture industry, including focusing on the introduction of more sustainable practices. A SAIC Priority Innovation Area is alternative sustainable feeds for finfish.

IBioIC focuses on accelerating and de-risking the development of commercially viable, sustainable IB solutions. IBioIC is committed to guiding a concept or idea, through to industry adoption. Considering both organisations’ focus, the PhD is designed to answer a commercial question in aquaculture, using IB to offer a solution.

A key activity of IBioIC and SAIC is the support of industrially relevant PhD projects that bring projects closer to industrialisation. The areas of research for a PhD project to be considered by IBioIC and SAIC could include:

  • Identification and production of high quality protein sources (such as specific amino acids);
  • Identification and production of novel sources of lipids (such as EPA and DHA);
  • Identification and production of functional feed ingredients;
  • Identification and production of novel sources of micro ingredients (including pigments)

Up to two thirds cash funding is available from IBioIC and SAIC for projects up to three years in length, with the remaining funding to come from the academic or industrial partner as relevant.

Applications will be assessed by way of competition and must demonstrate industrial relevance by the innovative use or application of IB that is of direct commercial benefit to the aquaculture industry in Scotland.

Various technical merits will be judged to ensure the most innovative and commercially viable project is selected including: technical feasibility and ambition; degree of novel invention; industrial relevance and commercial applicability.

Jude Huggan, Business Development Manager, IBioIC said: “We are pleased to collaborate with SAIC in encouraging IB processes into cross-disciplinary areas. This PhD will widen the remit of IB in Scotland by providing applications from one important sector to the questions in another.”

Corinne Critchlow-Watton, Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager, SAIC said: “This PhD directly tackles an industry issue by introducing more sustainable practices and preparing the aquaculture industry for the future. The topic is one at the heart of our strategic focus.”

In fostering industry-relevant collaboration, SAIC and IBioIC will also impact positively on the Scottish economy by boosting cross-sector innovation. The project will be led by a Scottish Higher Education Institute and supported by a relevant industry member depending on the topic of investigation.

The call closes at 12pm on 8 February – for information on how to enter visit

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