Bridgehead Aquaculture 2050 is developing a regional knowledge platform for efficient and mutual exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge. Its vision is to enhance the aquaculture sector's capacity to implement resilience, sustainability and competitiveness. Companies that provide technology and services are important drivers of innovation. Enabling technologies provide the seafood sector with new windows of opportunities, using high-tech solutions as steppingstones towards a paradigm shift. Bridgehead Aquaculture 2050 contributes to the capacity of the aquaculture businesses to apply these new technologies for the benefit of animal health and welfare, whilst leading to smarter, greener and more efficient processes. The many strong technology competence centres and businesses in Mid Norway are key in this process. Researchers and students become acquainted with the sector needs, through engaging professionals as student supervisors or university lecturers and through facilitating joint meeting arenas.
An increased interest among companies has been registered in the Industry PhD instrument. The Bridgehead project is involved in both information dissemination and guidance of new initiatives. Strengthening the societal relevance of education and research is also achieved by involving industry stakeholders in part-time positions at the university. Commitment has been shown through the allocation of several industry professorships in scientific fields that are critical for the success of the sector.
An additional aquaculture specialisation for NTNU Master of Technology students, a so-called "Minor in aquaculture", has been piloted. This model allows students from a wide range of engineering studies to combine their expertise with a basic understanding of aquaculture biology and operations. It creates a type of candidates that corresponds well with the competence gaps the sector. The new aquaculture engineering study, providing maintenance and operational skills at Bachelor level, is in its third year. At both levels, and across all study programmes, the involvement of external supervisors in student projects is encouraged. Not only will they lead to even more attractive candidates, it also increases the sector's capacity to exploit the opportunities the scientific expertise represents. Since 2019, about 100 aquaculture related student assignments have been delivered. Cooperation with secondary and vocational schools guarantees a broad spectrum of programmes at all educational levels.
Continued education directed to staff members from the aquaculture sector is a separate work package. The individual courses provide credits and hence an efficient way to increase the knowledge capacity in a primary sector where a large share of the staff does not have a formal education. Three courses have been delivered so far: "Safety management and risk analysis in aquaculture", "Recyclable Aquaculture Systems", and «Project management and engineering in aquaculture». The potential for an additional course on «Aquaculture related technologies» is being investigated.
Bridgehead Aquaculture 2050 brings professors, scientists and students out to fish cages, processing plants and supplying companies. Through the project mobility program, researchers have the opportunity to join a company for a short time period with clear mutual objectives of strengthening both the firm's competence level and the researcher's insight in the sector. One of the expected benefits is an improved basis for research and education cooperation.
Bridgehead events are organized throughout the year, some virtually and others in person. These are highly appreciated as arenas for knowledge exchange, consisting of experience exchange, company site visits, business presentations, workshops, student competitions and/or speed date sessions. The events stimulate stakeholders in the region to increase their network and to implement student and/or research interactions into their business strategies. This is important in the realisation of a sustainable and competitive sector. The annual Bridgehead conference has strengthened its position as hot spot for competence building in aquaculture. Student related events are also initiated at several other established industry forums, such as the Nor-Fishing and AquaNor trade shows, the TEKSET and TEKMAR conferences and NCE Aquatech Cluster seminars.
The Bridgehead Aquaculture 2050 toolbox is expanding its content and impact. An NTNU Alumni network for aquaculture has created a potentially powerful network of professionals with an interest to engage in competence building. A new aquaculture Gemini Centre, in collaboration with SINTEF and NTNU Social Research, will further develop a multi-disciplinary and systemic approach, thus enabling the creation of a knowledge capacity-building legacy in the region of Mid-Norway.
More information: www.ntnu.no/brohode-havbruk (in Norwegian)
BROHODE HAVBRUK 2050 har som ambisjon å løfte havbruksnæringens innovasjonskapasitet i region Midt-Norge. Dette skal oppnås gjennom et bedre samspill mellom teoretisk kunnskap og realkompetanse.
Som følge av den generelle teknologiutviklingen vokser det fram nye muligheter, men også kompetansebehov. Muliggjørende teknologier preger allerede norsk sjømatnæring og antas å bli stadig viktigere. Regionens FoU-miljøer er i verdenstoppen innen kunnskapsområder som intelligente strukturer, smarte og sikre havbruksoperasjoner, nye bioteknologiske metoder, tilpassede materialer og effektive innovasjonsprosesser. BROHODE HAVBRUK 2050 vil gi norsk havbruksnæring konkurransefortrinn ved å utnytte denne kapasiteten bedre, gjennom følgende tiltak:
1. Etter- og videreutdanningskurs innenfor unike kunnskapsområder og basert på næringens behov
2. Involvering av næringsaktører i undervisningen av havbruksrelevante fag (teknologi, naturvitenskap, samfunnsvitenskap)
3. Etablering av en spesialisering («Minor») innen akvakultur i teknologi- / sivilingeniørstudiene
4. Studentoppgaver i samarbeid med bedrifter
5. Fasilitering av næringsphd i samarbeid med FoU-miljøer
6. Hospitering av forskere i havbruksbedrifter