ExcelAQUA2.0 is a continuation of a joint platform for excellent education and research in sustainable aquaculture and fish biology between Norway and Japan. The project integrates high quality research and education through active cooperation with bioCEED a Center of Excellence in Biology Education, CtrlAQUA-a Research driven Innovation Centre for Aquaculture, and The Seafood Innovation Cluster. The Japanese Research Council - JSPS - also fund projects supporting activities in the ExcelAQUA platform.
The ExcelAQUA project has gathered some of best research and educational competence within fish biology and aquaculture research in Norway and Japan. The research-based education and training in ExcelAQUA includes teaching and supervision of students at all levels of fish biology and physiology. This is achieved through organizing intensive summer schools, workshops, provide internships in industry and co-supervision of Norwegian and Japanese students. Pedagogical experts conduct educational research to improve student learning and will implement enhanced understanding of transcultural teaching methods as an important factor in training of faculty. Workshops on career development for students and faculty alike will be organized. ExcelAQUA started in October 2020, but most of the activities have been postponed to 2022 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemics. In preparation for the start of the key educational activities, including summer school and internships, we have emphasized to develop, validate and use research methods (WP2, WP4; WP7) that will be implemented in the project. Two PhD students linked to UiB and one of the Japanese partners have been part of this work and has thus far resulted in publication of 5 peer reviewed papers and 3 abstracts at conferences.
The ExcelAQUA 2.0 project will solidify and strengthen a world-class long-term collaborative platform for excellent education and research between the Norwegian and Japanese partners in sustainable aquaculture and integrative fish biology. ExcelAQUA 2.0 will build excellence in research-based education by closely integrating research and education through three Norwegian Centres of Excellence/Expertise: 1) bioCEED (Center of Excellence in Biology Education) 2) CtrlAQUA (Research driven Innovation Centre for Closed-containment Aquaculture and 3) The Seafood Innovation Cluster (Norwegian Center of Expertise) and JSPS funded projects that supports the ongoing research in the platform. The Norwegian and Japanese ExcelAQUA consortium partners represent a world class and complementary competence in key aspects of fish biology and aquaculture research, from molecular mechanisms to whole animal performance and welfare to the development of innovative large-scale production strategies. This forms the basis for the research based education and training in ExcelAQUA. The partners are actively involved in teaching and supervision at all levels in fish biology and physiology and contribute in the summer school, workshops, internships and co-supervision of students in ExcelAQUA. Through expert pedagogical collaboration with bioCEED the partners aim for excellence in education using educational research and joint publishing, implementation of transcultural teaching methods and training of faculty. ExcelAQUA 2.0 will expand and run institutionalized joint courses and workshops on career development. ExcelAQUA 2.0 will strengthen world class research activities that support and facilitate mobility of students and researchers during the project period. We aim to solidify ExcelAQUA as an exciting, innovative and stimulating intellectual and world-class platform for established and early stage scientists and students in sustainable aquaculture.