The six year project “Kapasitetsløft for bærekraftig og innovativ sjømatproduksjon” (“Capacity development for sustainable and innovative seafood production”) that started in spring 2018, is now halfway through its course.

This article was first published in our recent Annual Report 2020.

In its midway assessment, KABIS received the highest score of all the projects. – This shows that we’re on the right track, says professor Sigurd Handeland at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Bergen and senior researcher at NORCE. He leads the KABIS project and contributed to the original application to the Research Council of Norway.

NORCE is joined by the University of Bergen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Vestland County Municipality, City of Bergen, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster and 12 aquaculture companies. The Research Council’s programme FORREGION funds the project with up to NOK 30 million. The cluster also gave a signi- ficant contribution to the project.

More sustainable aquaculture
KABIS contributes to strengthening and focusing aquaculture-oriented research and higher education in Western Norway. The idea is that the project will boost and support the development of eco-friendly fish farming systems, such as land- based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and in-sea floating semi-closed containment systems (S-CCS).

– Our goal is to get the students more involved in the industry, but also to put the companies in closer contact with research and education. We saw the need for new competence if one is to optimize production and even more eco-friendly fish farming.

Since the start, KABIS has carried out a number of activities aimed at students, including establishing two PhD fellowships, a bachelor’s programme at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and three master’s projects at the University of Bergen and being in discussions with Stirling University, Great Britain and Universitat Auto- noma de Barcelona, Spain about the development of a new student exchange programme within the field of sustainable aquaculture.

Good collaboration
He emphasizes that the collaboration with the cluster has worked very well.
– They have, among other things, provided a large network, and a unified industry has presented us with means for an endowed professorship. This was a clear signal they are actual partners, which was especially important towards the Research Council in their evaluation of the application, Handeland states.

In the time ahead, the collaboration with NCE Seafood Innovation will become even more important, and he believes they will play a central role in the further development of the project.

– Until now, we have focused mainly on building up capacity in the project, but in the time ahead, we will focus more on doing actual research. And NCE Seafood Innovation must help us communicate it throughout their channels, he concludes.