NCE Seafood Innovation’s contribution with establishing the KABIS program has led to an increase in both research and education.

This article was first published in our Annual Report 2019

The project started in 2018 to develop research in aquaculture as well as education in the industry, to help develop innovation and restructuring towards recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and semi-closed containment systems (S-CCS). Central to the project is NCE Seafood’s funding of two associate professors. The project also supports 1 scientist in molecular biology, 1 senior scientist in early salmon maturation, 1 senior scientist in innovation management, 1 senior scientist in entrepreneurship, 1 senior scientist in complex, interdisciplinary innovation processes, and 1 facilitating position has been funded.

Increased research and teaching capacity
Project manager Sigurd Handeland, Associate Professor at the University of Bergen is very satisfied with the progress of the project: – We have reached a lot of our milestones in the project. Our goal is to build a new research and teaching capacity in our region, closely tied to the new program for civil engineers at the University of Bergen. We want to promote the development of the sustainable aquaculture of the future, says Handeland.

Revised curriculum for students
The curriculums of relevant programs at the University of Bergen and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences have also been revised to include RAS technology amongst other topics. Competence on innovation is being strengthened, either through students in innovation and entrepreneurship taking courses in aquaculture, or aquaculture students learning more about innovation processes.

Creating an international program and integrating RASLab
An exchange program between the University of Stirling in Scotland, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and several institutions in Bergen is being developed and is another output from the KABIS project. Marineholmen RASLab will be an important asset to the KABIS project when it is finished in the early summer of 2020, and it will offer opportunities for training and education for professionals from the industry, master’s students from the University of Bergen and teachers from vocational schools.

Bridging industry and academia
The KABIS Impact Forum has been established, where stakeholders in the industry give input on what is needed of research and education. – We hold annual meetings, where we gather the whole consortium. Students and scientists present the results of their research, says Handeland. The topics of the students’ research have often been proposed by businesses in the cluster. – The brainstorming afterward brings about new, interesting ideas for projects, that can become new student research. The focus is always on what are the most urgent challenges for the aquaculture industry.

– Our aim is to get the students more actively involved in the industry, but also to get the businesses closer in contact with research and education.

Ongoing Phd. projects:

  • Enrique Pino Martínez (2018-2021, UiB), Salmon Aquaculture for the Future
  • Tharmini Kalananthan (2019- 2023, UiB), Neuroendocrine factors involved in appetite control
  • Emil Lindfors (2020-2023, UiB). Innovations in modern Aquaculture
  • Patrik Tang (2019-2022). Stress response in Atlantic salmon


Want to know more?
Contact our Innovation Manager Björgólfur Hávarðsson MSc,, or visit