Featured News & Events


Scottish Seaweed Industry Association Annual Conference 18-19 February Oban

The SSIA is holding its annual conference in Oban on Tuesday 18th February 2020 followed by a day of workshops at SAMS ( Scottish Association for Marine Science) on Wednesday 19th.

An interesting line-up of speakers for the conference on 18th February has been confirmed, and topics announced for the workshops to be held the next day, 19th February at The Scottish Association for Marine Science.

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The latest From the Cluster




EMSP company collaborates in international project to develop plastic-free food packaging from langoustine shell waste.

The research and development project called the Celtic Crustacean Collaboration is being led by Argyll based firm, CuanTec Limited, working with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS).

Both are based at the European Marine Science Park (EMSP) near Oban. They are working with Versatile Packaging in the Republic of Ireland and with Northern Ireland firm, Kilkeel Seafoods.

Over the next three years the project is expected to lead to the creation of up to 13 new jobs in Argyll.

Photo Credit - with thanks to The Oban Times.

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SAMS study highlights seaweed farming as major growth opportunity for Argyll and Bute.

Given Argyll and Bute's strategic location on the west coast and abundant natural resources, there is great potential for the area to become a centre of seaweed farming in Scotland.

SAMS ( Scottish Association for Marine Science) had been commissioned by Argyll and Bute Council, and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to bring together information to help provide a template for local seaweed farming.

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Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre secures Phase 2 funding

Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to invest in Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.

Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre has secured a £10 million funding deal to carry it forward over the next five years in its Phase 2 of operations. It is expected to be supplemented by £3.5 million from third party grants and income generated from the sale of its own services.

SAIC plans to grow innovation in aquaculture by bringing multiple partners together from across the UK, and to be able to leverage more funding. There will be a focus on engaging with small businesses.

There will also be more work with undergraduates and schools to help raise awareness of the many career opportunities in aquaculture. SAIC will continue to back the Women In Aquaculture network as part of this development strand.

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New funding for supporting women into aquaculture

A total of £50,000 is being invested to help increase the number of women working in Scottish aquaculture.

The funding will deliver a mentoring scheme to support women already working in the sector to develop their careers, and a website to promote aquaculture and job opportunities to women.

The Scottish Government will provide £20,000 to Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA), with a further £30,000 of industry sponsorship. In 2018 only 11% of salmon farm workers and 15% of shellfish farm workers were women.

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SRSL's high-tec sea ice measuring devices will be used in largest -ever Arctic expedition

Scientists taking part in the largest-ever Arctic expedition will use technology developed by SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL), to measure sea ice melting.

The German Research Vessel Polarstern has arrived in the Arctic where it will lock itself in the sea-ice and drift for an entire year. Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.

As part of the research activity, polar scientists will deploy up to 18 hi-tech devices, developed by SRSL, known as Sea Ice Mass Balance Arrays (SIMBA), which can remotely measure the location, thickness and the melting rate of sea ice.

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New investment enables expansion for European Centre for Marine Biotechnology business

CuanTec Ltd, the blue biotech company based in Motherwell and Oban, has completed an investment round with Sky Ocean Ventures and Scottish Enterprise that will enable them to process at pilot production scale and finalise their formulations. The investment will also create new jobs at the CuanTec lab at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology at the EMSP on the outskirts of Oban.

CuanTec Ltd extracts chitin from shellfish waste. Using a clean, energy-efficient method, they then convert this chitin into chitosan, which is used to manufacture an antimicrobial, compostable bio-plastic, directly addressing the problems of plastic pollution and food waste in the world.

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