National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub

Aquaculture is a rapidly expanding industry, with a global growth rate of 8%, while in Scotland, the sector has ambitious plans to double its output by 2030. With high demand, domestically and in export markets, for both aquatic food produced in the UK and the technology and expertise which underpins it, there is a unique opportunity to increase the economic, social and environmental benefits of aquaculture by developing the role that Scotland can play in supporting this burgeoning industry.

However, this requires intelligent, transformational processes which build on the latest research and evidence to allow us to farm the best fish in the healthiest and most efficient way possible. Its clear that investment is needed if the UK is to retain and increase its market share as the industry expands, while tackling major challenges facing aquaculture producers, from stock health and welfare, though to managing environmental impacts and adapting to climate change.

sustainable aquaculture fish farm

The vision

Investment of £17 million through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal will create a new National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub (NATIH); a pioneering innovation community that drives the UK’s ambitions to become a world leader in modern aquaculture practice.

World-leading expertise

For more than 40 years, the University’s Institute of Aquaculture has spearheaded the development of scientific techniques, technologies and expertise to support the sustainable production of food in aquatic environments. Working closely with industry, from producers and retailers, to certification bodies, and the pharmaceutical sector, our research informs modern commercial markets around the world, from development through to production and the point of sale.

Our credentials in this field are well-established. In 2019 the Institute of Aquaculture was awarded the UK’s most prestigious academic honour, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, in recognition of the impact and international reach of its research on society, the economy and health of aquatic ecosystems.

The National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub will deliver new, state-of-the-art laboratories and aquatic experimental facilities, reinforcing this world-leading work. Collaboration will be at the heart of our approach, enabling our experts to conduct dynamic and commercially relevant research in partnership with leading aquaculture companies, and ensure students are equipped with the skills the blue food economy of the future will require. By co-locating industry partners with the Institute, we will translate ground-breaking scientific research into practical, applied solutions that support economic development in communities from rural Scotland to South America, Africa and the Middle East. In doing so, UK expertise and technology will be placed at the centre of efforts to support a sustainable international industry, while enhancing global food security.

Our aquaculture research

Get in touch

If you’d like to know more about the University's projects within the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, please contact Dr John Rogers, Executive Director of Research, Innovation and Business Engagement at cityregiondeal@stir.ac.uk or on +44 (0) 1786 466445.