The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) continues to build nationwide agricultural networks through support and collaboration with other networks. One recent example of this was when KTN were invited to present at the Rapid Diagnostics for Aquaculture workshop hosted by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and the Moredun Research Institute.
Transforming the relationship between the aquaculture industry and research community
The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, one of eight Innovation Centres established by the Scottish Government, funded by the Scottish Funding Council (in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise) and by industry, aims to transform the relationship between the aquaculture industry and research community.
SAIC and KTN have harmonious objectives with the aim of both to generate closer connections between these two communities and foster innovative industry-relevant collaboration. The aim of all our work is commercial success and economic growth. With the SAIC long-term success being measured in terms of aquaculture’s contribution to Scotland’s economy and reputation.
Rapid Diagnostics for Aquaculture
The specific aim of the Rapid Diagnostics for Aquaculture event was to bring together key research and industry stakeholders from the aquaculture sector to discuss future challenges and opportunities for the development and application of rapid diagnostics tests. This event provided a free exchange of knowledge and ideas, networking opportunities the results of which are to be used to prioritise issues facing rapid diagnostics in aquaculture and how these might be addressed through collaborative research.
Chair for the workshop was Hamish Rodger of the Fish Vet Group, with a number of presentations used to highlight a variety of view points on the development and application of rapid diagnostic testing. Teresa Garzon, Marine Harvest, presented an industry prospective of rapid diagnostics, the needs and use of current tests and what they would like to see developed. Manfred Weidmann of Institute of Aquaculture, demonstrated the state of the art of current molecular testing, and what academics can deliver and where research is currently. A policy/government perspective was presented by Eann Munro of Marine Science Scotland including the challenges of using diagnostics, their validation and accreditation.
Finally Chris Danks was invited to present the nationwide role the KTN can provide, with a particular focus on the interface of different technological communities, many of which may be valuable to assist in developing the broader aquaculture requirements. Chris was also able to provide first hand experience on developing and acceptance of point of care diagnostics within the plant health sector, based on his own previous experience, which the audience found highly beneficial and stimulated a number of discussion areas.
The audience of over 40 invited guests was comprised of a diverse mixture of diagnostics companies, academics, veterinarians and aquaculture industry specialists.
New call for expressions of interest (EOIs) on rapid diagnostics solutions for aquaculture
Following on from the workshop the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre has issued an open call for expressions of interest (EOIs) on rapid diagnostics solutions for aquaculture. Proposed projects should fall within one of the following areas of research which were identified as top priorities by the participants at the diagnostics workshop, including; Indicators of health and fish condition, precursors to gill disease and a variety of husbandry aspects such as smoltification.
In summary the workshop was successful and identified the current status of diagnostics in aquaculture and opened up numerous discussions and opportunities to develop areas of collaborative research in this exciting and challenging area of diagnostics. The connections built through this event, by all involved will continue to be progressed by SAIC and KTN.
For information on the SAIC call for rapid diagnostic projects and guidance on submitting an expression of interest, use the following link.