How to make change happen?
An earlier SSAC report on the Science Legacy of Covid22 recommended strengthening the porosity of employment between academia, the public and private sectors to encourage understanding of different perspectives and between disciplines in academia to gain access to more generic (rather than aquaculture-specific) sources of public funding for aquaculture research. Aquaculture is not part of the SG strategic research programme on environment, natural resources and agriculture23, but this is balanced by the economic strength of the aquaculture industry and greater investment in research by the industry through initiatives which have brought industry, government, and academia together.
One academic institution in the aquaculture sector in Scotland showed us their range of funding: UKRI, charities, UK Government, industry (both in Scotland and overseas), and European research funds. Many of the projects funded, however, will be short-term and one-off projects, with priorities being driven by funders. SAIC’s governance enables it to answer questions where industry and government have mutual interests, with the majority of funding coming from SFC, HIE, and Scottish Enterprise. However, a gap remains in funding for policy-driven research. The Griggs report made some suggestions and Annex F gives examples of levies in Norway and in the agriculture and horticulture sector. If the gaps
are clarified and agreed collectively, these priorities could help inform research funders such as UKRI. Annex G outlines funding currently available for aquaculture research in Scotland.
The SSAC are very grateful to everyone who took time to talk to us, attend the virtual roundtable and send in comments. We are also particularly grateful to Dr Tonje Osmundsen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology who was part of our Working Group, to Adam Hughes from the Scottish Association for Marine Science for speaking, and to our independent chairs and scribes at the roundtable. We sincerely appreciate the support of Jill Barber from Marine Scotland and Eann Munro and colleagues in the SG Central Evidence Team for providing background information and to the SSAC secretariat for setting up the interviews and roundtable. The recommendations are the responsibility solely of the SSAC and have been agreed by the Council as a whole.