AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in EUropean fish research 3.0
By integrating 40 top class European aquaculture research facilities, AQUAEXCEL3.0 provides a world-class platform for aquaculture research, from biology to technology, in all types of rearing systems, covering all major EU farmed species as well as the most promising new species.Building on two previous AQUAEXCEL projects, it will provide expanded access to high-quality services and resources, covering all scientific fields relevant to research and innovation in aquaculture, from genetics to technology through immunology, physiology and nutrition, and including new nanosensors and fish isogenic lines developed in the previous projects. AQUAEXCEL3.0 will enhance its scope by including shellfish, macro-algae and recyclers (insects, marine worms). Integrating such lower trophic level species is key to move towards more sustainable and even circular aquaculture – a strong societal demand. By partnering with the EU aquaculture industry through a continued strong involvement of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP), it will boost excellent research and sustainable innovation, for both public and private sectors, as a durable impact. A total of 193 Transnational access projects are scheduled, that will significantly consolidate the global leadership of European aquaculture research and advance the implementation of EATiP’s Strategic Research Agenda, with a flexible orientation in time towards key industry issues. Improving the use of animal experiments for research according to the 3 R’s, Reduction (via stable fish models and improved design of experiments), Refinement (via the development of Operational Welfare Indicators and environmental enrichment) and Replacement (via e.g. Virtual Laboratories and cellular models) is integral to the concept of AQUAEXCEL3.0. Overall, AQUAEXCEL3.0 will provide the Aquaculture Research community and Industry with new services focused on the user needs, to promote both excellent science and innovation.