Promote the sustainability and diversification of the European aquaculture industry through algae-based solutions. This is the premise of the European project INNOAQUA, a multidisciplinary initiative featuring INESC TEC.
In line with the current European strategy for the circular bioeconomy, “INNOAQUA seeks to pave the way for the next EU sustainable and diversified terrestrial aquaculture industry, based on the demonstration and integration of algae-based food and innovative solutions, and on ecology, circularity and digitalisation concepts”, explained Filipe Ferreira, Luís Coelho and Carlos Pinho, the INESC TEC researchers part of the project. “The European Green Deal has already acknowledged the potential of algae as an alternative protein source, with a low carbon footprint – which contributes to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the aquaculture sector. However, and compared to the developments in Asian countries, the European market for this industry is still at a very early stage”, they clarified.
The INNOAQUA project – Innovative approaches for an integrated use of algae in sustainable aquaculture practices and high-value food applications – aims to develop a new methodological approach that combines the development of innovative, consumer-led food products with adaptation and simulation in real contexts – considering that, in addition to the production phase of new foods, it is necessary to develop a broader process that prepares their introduction into the market by companies.
INESC TEC focuses on the development of tools to collect, storage and process data obtained through sensors, acting in real time in the production of information, while establishing and validating the digital architecture of systems adapted to the sector. Two research centres are involved in this project: the Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP), responsible for the development of innovative sensors in aquatic environments, and the Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering (CESE), with the development of digital solutions for data collection, storage, and processing, to generate information capable of improving the efficiency, sustainability and resilience of processes.
The project features a consortium of 17 partners from eight different countries. With a duration of 48 months, it started in June this year, benefiting from European funding of €7.275.000.
Those mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC.