Together with the University of Bergen, by adjunct associate professor Tom Ole Nilsen and partners in North America, we have been granted funding from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation and Education, SIU.

The overall goal of the project is to establish and develop a long-term institutional framework for high quality educational collaboration between the Department of Biology, University of Bergen and excellent partners from the US and Canada. The project will contribute to increased interactions between high quality education, research and the aquaculture industry through student internships, guest lectures and enterprise participation in the summer course. Another major expected outcome of the project is increased student mobility through students participating in the proposed summer course, taking semesters abroad and by offering internships in international aquaculture enterprises at facilitates in both Norway and North America.

SIU’s partnership program for North America supports cooperation between Norway, USA and Canada, to develop institutionally anchored partnerships of high quality. Central objectives are increased academic cooperation, increased connections between research and education, increased collaboration with enterprises in the public and private sectors, and increased student mobility.

The Norwegian and North American consortium a strong competence in key aspects of fish physiology and aquaculture research, from molecular mechanisms to whole animal performance, animal welfare and the development of innovative aquaculture solutions. The Canadian and US partners have been selected based on their proven excellence and capacity to build an educational framework between Norway and North America that will permit mobility of students, young scientists and experienced researchers in order to build a world-class centre for research and education in sustainable aquaculture.

The Norwegian partners build their excellence by integrating research and education through two ongoing Norwegian Centers of Excellence: 1) Center of Excellence in Biology Education (bioCEED) and 2) a Research driven Innovation Centre for Closed-containment Aquaculture (CtrlAQUA). Several of the industry partners in CtrlAQUA are also partners in the Bergen Marine Cluster, which has bioCEED and CtrlAQUA as a part of their relational prerequisites. Furthermore, we engage our North American partners in the new Center for Sustainable Aquaculture innovations, CSAI, which is a consolidation of research groups at Uni Environment and Department of Biology at the University of Bergen. Our Canadian partners build on their Initiative for the Study of the Environment and its Aquatic Systems (InSEAS), which is a new large scale RAS facility at the University of British Columbia. InSEAS is the only facilities in North America with the capability to manipulate and precisely control environmental conditions to systematically test the effects of variation in rearing conditions on growth and performance of salmon at multiple life stages in RAS. Overall this provides a solid platform with an enthusiastic and creative environment that continues to educate highly qualified candidates through research-based educational programs such as the new Aquaculture Integrated Master/Civil Engineer program. Establishing a steady supply of highly qualified young candidates into academia and industry will permit developing innovative and sustainable solutions for aquaculture.

Project activities

The educational and research activities available to the proposed project are linked to three long-term funded centers (bioCEED, CtrlAQUA, InSEAS). The project will focus on topics such as environmental factors that impact stress, growth, homeostasis and fish welfare in aquaculture production. The basic research questions is also closely linked to some of the key challenges in the aquaculture industry in Norway- novel feed ingredients, increasing growth while reducing feed waste, production of robust smolts and post-smolts. The project will in close collaboration with the NCE and industry partners provide student internships and increase student mobility. One major aim is to increase interactions between education, research and industry partners.

Participating Norwegian partner institutions

University of Bergen
Grieg Seafood
NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster
Marine Harvest
The Industrial and Aquatic Laboratory

Participating partner institutions from North America

The University of British Columbia
U.S. Geological Survey Bilde 1 Foto by Timothy Cheng: Campus area at the University of British Columbia. Bilde 4 Foto by Colin Brauner and Jeff Richards:  InSEA RAS research facility at the University of British Columbia. Bilde 5 Foto of Stephen McCormick who is the project leader at the University of Amherst and US Geology Survey, USA Bilde 6 Foto by Tom O. Nilsen: Shelburne Falls Massachusetts, USA