Innoaqua Partners

Led by NORCE Norwegian Research Centre

The INNOAQUA project brings together 17 partners from 8 countries.

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Innoaqua - Norce
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About Norce

NORCE is an independent research institute, which conducts research, development and innovation in collaboration with the public and private sector so that wise and sustainable choices can be made for the future. NORCE has extensive activity in energy, health, climate, environment, society and technology and its ambition is to be a national and European leader in those areas of focus.

NORCE emphasizes multidisciplinary research. In four focus areas, it gathers expertise across subjects and organisations, addressing concrete challenges such as climate change, energy transition, the aging population, social inequality and young outsiders.

NORCE is one of Norway’s largest independent research institutes with over 750 employees spread across 10 Norwegian cities and contributes to restructuring in the public sector, industry and business – together with universities, clusters and centres.

NORCE also underpins its research with knowledge of local conditions and experiences, while at the same time it has breadth, knowledge and networks that allow to have weight nationally and internationally.

NORCE Norwegian Research Center AS was founded on 3 July 2017. Including subsidiaries, NORCE is a group with 1,100 employees from all over the world.

The group is present with its knowledge in several countries, and has an annual turnover of NOK 1.4 billion.

Role in Innoaqua:

NORCE is project coordinator of INNOAQUA and responsible for project management, including the scientific, administrative, contractual and financial aspects (WP7 leader).

Moreover, NORCE is strongly involved in both societal engagement and acceptance of novel seafoods (WP1 leader), as well as in developing sustainable aquaculture practices. As such, NORCE will work on co-creation of the final seafood products together with the end-users, by simulating the uptake of innovative seafood products in digital models of communities to identify effective market development and penetration strategies.

Furthermore, NORCE will together with Marineholmen RASlab and Viking Aqua to demonstrate coupling of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for salmon production with microalgae production for an improved sustainability of aquaculture, as well as diversification of produced biomass.

About A4F

A4F is a technology development with over 20 years of experience in algae production and processing systems, from research and development, all the way to algae production at industrial scale. A4F is specialized in the design, build, operation and transfer (DBOT) of algae production units, using the best technologies available for each context and application.

A key aspect of the differentiation of A4F is its methodology which includes scaling-up from prototypes in the pilot plant in Lisbon to commercial-scale facilities, having deployed some of the largest algae production and processing platforms in Europe.

Additionally, A4F also develops standard operating procedures for optimized algae production, according to production goals and with industry best practices.

A4F has developed over the years a close relationship with the leading universities and research groups in the algae biotechnology, as well as with the largest algae producers worldwide.

A4F, the first choice for any large-scale contract as a specialist in algae production and the development of robust business plans adapted to each market of application.

Role in Innoaqua:

A4F plays an active role across all Work Packages (WP), leading both WP2 (Sustainable Aquaculture Practices) and Task 3.3 of WP3 (Extracts from Macroalgae in a Cascading Approach).

WP2 is central to the project; it not only develops algae-based solutions for sustainable land-based aquaculture but also provides the biomass (micro and macroalgae) for creating novel food products in WP3 and WP4. Thus, WP2 directly addresses two key project objectives:

  1. Implementing an ecosystem approach for sustainable management of aquaculture production, and
  2. Showcasing tools to minimize waste in aquaculture cultivation and processing.

WP2 consists of two demonstration sites.

  • DEMO#1, a Seaweed and Sole Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) system, is led by A4F with SEA8 and INESC-TEC’s collaboration
  • DEMO #2, a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) with microalgae and salmon, is led by NORCE, involving VIKING AQUA and RASLab

DEMO#1 also aims to develop a SMART-IMTA (System for Monitoring and Adaption in Real Time for Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture), bolstering its technology and digital capabilities.

Moreover, in WP3, A4F will design biorefining processes for seaweed biomass, aligning these with specifications from WP4, which is focused on developing new seafood products and packaging solutions.”

About Algemy Ingredients

Algemy Ingredients is a young and innovative start-up that develops ingredients from microalgae to satisfy both people’s and planet’s needs.

Our main focus is proteins. We produce alternative proteins that are truly healthy, sustainable, and delicious. To do so, we are working in multiple dimensions, including the optimization of the cultivation conditions to achieve high and reproducible yields.

At the same time, we are developing, licensing and integrating unique patented processes for optimal valorization of microalgae biomass.

Moreover, we innovate in food formulation to achieve optimal taste and nutritional profile. Last but not least, we are collecting data and controlling our parameters to analyze and minimize our footprint.

Role in Innoaqua:

Algemy is a proud member of the Innoaqua consortium, participating across the project and leading several tasks. Our main role in the project is to lead WP4, which focuses on the development of innovative food ingredients and products. In this WP we coordinate the development of ingredients based on the extracts obtained in WP3 and ensuring they meet the requirements of food formulators, packaging developers in terms of characteristics, safety, quality and regulatory compliance.

We also formulate some food products such as protein rich-powdered meals and protein-rich snacks.

Another important role of Algemy happens in WP3 and it involves the establishment of techniques to process microalgae to obtain the desired extracts. Finally, Algemy participates in WP1 aiming to understand how consumer perception and social norms affect consumption of innovative seafood products.

This information will lead to the identification of main consumer target groups and ultimately to more successful product launches and long-term sales.

About Eco Imagination

Eco Imagination is a non-profit association focused on Communication, Research and Development of Innovations and Technologies working for the protection of the Environmental, Social & Cultural heritage.

With more than 10 years of experience in communication, our team is composed by men and women expert in sustainability (business and engineering backgrounds) who are fully committed to protect the limited resources of our planet.

By organizing events, communicating and networking we want to bring awareness to the public on the technological challenges we need to face to improve the health of our planet.

Role in Innoaqua:

Eco Imagination will oversee task 6.1 “Communication, dissemination and outreach strategy” in the INNOAQUA project.

Eco Imagination will take the necessary steps to boost the project’s goals and objectives by implementing and excecuting a detailed Dissemination and Communication Plan in collaboration with all the consortium partners.

About Eranova

Eranova is a French start-up that creates plastic from green macroalgae. The presence of this macroalgae in coastal regions is a major source of pollution and the toxic gasses they emit pose a risk to oceans, marine wildlife, and human health. Limiting the impact and spread of green algae is also a major cost for local authorities.

The technology developed by Eranova transforms this nuisance into a new-generation bioplastic, with diverse industrial usages such as cosmetics and packaging. In other words, Eranova provides a win-win solution to reduce coastal pollution and an alternative to much-maligned fossil fuel-based plastics.

In 2021, ERANOVA launched a pilot plant at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, in the industrial zone of Fos-sur-Mer. This 1.3 ha demonstrator allows to collect and transform a part of the Ulva that wash on the Etang de Berre beaches, and to begin the commercial production of bioresins.

It is also an R&D platform used to study macroalgal biology in raceways, optimize the production and transformation process, and perform trials with our scientific partners such as the CEA and CNRS.

Role in Innoaqua:

Within the INNOAQUA project, ERANOVA will mainly contribute with its knowledge and experience on algae-based materials, in particular packaging, within WP4.

Along with its INNOAQUA partners, ERANOVA will identify the algae fractions that cannot be used in food applications, and use them to create plastics for packaging applications. Eranova will also analyse the properties of these materials to compare them with existing alternatives.

About European Aquaculture Society

EAS is an independent non-profit association, created in 1976, that promotes contacts and disseminates information to stakeholders of European aquaculture. EAS has 1000 members in more than 60 countries. Membership is mainly scientific/academic, but also includes producers, suppliers and policy makers. The EAS Secretariat is at Oostende in Belgium.

Our principal activities are the provision of membership products and services, the organisation of our annual Aquaculture Europe (AE) events, and communication activities within EU projects and initiatives.

Role in Innoaqua:

Within INNOAQUA, EAS is providing support to the alignment of our pilot systems with the ecosystem approach to aquaculture and supporting activities to maximise the communication activities of the project.

Through our social media channels and our EASTalk webinars and podcasts, we will ensure that the aquaculture community is aware of the outcomes and innovations that INNOAQUA will develop.

We will also use our Aquaculture Europe events (scientific conference, trade show and industry forums with close to 2000 attendees) as a platform for INNOAQUA workshops, scientific dissemination and stakeholder outreach.

About Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

UFRJ’s history dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is filled with remarkable scientific, cultural, and artistic accomplishments. It is currently the 3rd best university in Brazil and the 7th best university in Latin America (QS Rankings – 2018).

With many campuses and faculties scattered around Rio de Janeiro State, it comprises institutes, schools, and other facilities, including museums, hospitals, and the third largest ocean basin in the world for research on offshore oil exploitation.

The university has partnerships with several national and multinational enterprises, some of which have facilities on campus. Following a global trend, UFRJ creates and maintains cooperative relationships with institutions from every continent. It currently has partnerships with over 200 international institutions all over the world.

Role in Innoaqua:

In the INNOAQUA project, UFRJ will participate in WP2 – Sustainable Aquaculture Practices, in WP5 – Sustainability, safety and regulation and in WP6 – Communication, dissemination, and exploitation.

About Inesc Tec

INESC TEC is a private non-profit research association, with Public Interest status, dedicated to scientific research and technological development, technology transfer, advanced consulting and training, and pre-incubation of new technology-based companies.

Present in six sites in the cities of Porto (headquarters), Braga and Vila Real, and with more than 800 researchers, INESC TEC acts from knowledge generation to science-based innovation, and performs collaboratively in search for a more sustainable, responsible, and improved world.

The primary goal of INESC TEC is to exceed performance in research, while considering its social, environmental, and economic impact, with a commitment to the scientific and technological contribution to foster pervasive intelligence. As so, INESC TEC endeavours to be a relevant international player in Science and Technology in eight scientific domains, Artificial Intelligence, Bioengineering, Communications, Computer Science and Engineering, Photonics, Power and Energy Systems, Robotics and Systems Engineering and Management.

Being an institution that operates at the interface between the academic and business worlds, bringing academia, companies, public administration, and society closer together, INESC TEC generates new knowledge as part of its research, and leverages that knowledge in technology transfer projects, seeking impact through both value creation and social relevance.

Role in Innoaqua:

INESC TEC will develop tools that allow the capture, storage and processing of data obtained by sensors to extract information and reach adaptive capabilities of systems, acting in real time in production using data collected and establishing and validating the digital architecture of suitable systems.

Innovative optical sensors for the measurement of different parameters such as dissolved carbon dioxide, nitrates, spectral turbidity, light, and temperature will be developed and combined, together with commercially available devices, in a Multisensing Module. The sensors will bring added value to the algae production by supporting a dynamic control of parameters in the fish-algae symbiosis and providing valuable data to develop control systems and algorithms that, in the future, will be able to optimize these complex production systems.

Moreover, a Digital Twin Backbone (DTB) will be developed, to facilitate the ingestion, transformation and storage of data flows coming from the sensors installed in plant, making this data accessible to other interested parties, such as the intelligent Operations and Maintenance (O&M) functions, in near real-time, through a set of pre-defined public Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

This development will be a fundamental piece towards the ambitioned objectives, to improve/optimize the efficiency margins and its scale-up, ultimately contributing to the digitalization of the sector.

About Leitat Acond.

Founded in 1906, Leitat is one of the reference entities at state and European level in technology management. It has a team of more than 500 professionals, experts in applied research, technical services and management of technological and innovation initiatives.

Leitat provides social, industrial, economic and sustainable value, offering comprehensive solutions in multiple sectors and areas: development of new materials, eco-sustainable production, occupational health prevention systems, revaluation of waste and use of natural resources, interconnectivity and digitization of industry, green energy and maximization of energy efficiency.

Leitat is recognized by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and is one of the main entities participating in the Horizon2020 and Horizon Europe program of the European Union.

Role in Innoaqua:

INNOAQUA proposes an ambitious and efficient R&I workplan to develop and mainstream several solutions for the aquaculture industry involving the use of algae.

Leitat will contribute to demonstrate tools to limit the waste in aquaculture cultivation and processing. In WP2, Leitat will valorise sludge from RAS systems by recovering nutrients (N and P) from sludge from RAS systems to produce culture medium for algae cultivation, improving circularity and reducing the need for commercial substrates.

Leitat will lead WP3 which focuses on the development and optimisation algae and fish by-products processing techniques for the extraction of the ingredients to be used in the formulation and development of seafood products for WP4.

In particular, Leitat will work on the valorisation of the fish processing by-products to obtain ingredients with validated bioactive capacity (antioxidant, antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory bioactivity) and techno-functionalities (solubility, water holding capacity, jellifying, emulsifying, sensorial properties).

In WP4, Leitat will contribute to demonstrate processing methods to obtain new innovative (algae-based) seafood products. In Wp4, Leitat together with other partners from the consortium will formulate and validate vegan meat analogues, vegan nutritious snacks and hybrid algae-fish prototypes.

Besides, Leitat will be actively involved in the dissemination and communication activities as well sustainability, safety and regulation aspects.

About Marineholmen RASlab

Marineholmen RASLab is a contract research, development and innovation company with a focus on land-based aquaculture specialising in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) technology.

RASLab has 12 replicate small-scale RAS systems for the culture of fish to commercial densities under simulated commercial conditions with high levels of scientific precision and competence.

RASLab also provides advice on aquaculture innovation to start-up and small medium enterprises as well as offering specialized training and education in RAS operation and management.

Role in Innoaqua:

Marineholmen RASLab is the site of Demo 1 – as part of work package 2 RAS systems will be connected to photobioreactors for the co-culture of freshwater, brackish water and saltwater microalgae during the production cycle of Atlantic salmon.

RASlab will be working closely with BORCE and other partners in facilitating data collection on fish production, water quality and how these interact with microalgae production.

RASLab will also participate in other work packages providing e-learning materials and coordinating workshops on IMTA in relation to RAS production.

About Pedal Consulting

“Headquartered in Slovakia, PEDAL Consulting ( is an innovation and management consulting company and the leading national SME performer in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programme.

The company not only participated as a key partner in relevant EU projects but also provides highly customized services to SMEs and leading companies from various sectors to enhance their research and innovation capacities. On top of this, PEDAL promotes social and open innovation supporting regional authorities to design strategies, roadmaps and action plans properly adjusted to their characteristics, thus enhancing their capacity to efficiently exploit their resources and seize emerging opportunities for the benefit of their community as a whole.

It should be also noted that since 2010, the company has participated in more than 50 successful research and innovation projects and studies as well as support actions funded by the EC (FP7, H2020, Horizon Europe, COSME, LIFE Plus, EEA Grants, Green Climate Initiative, Climate Pact, etc.).”

Role in Innoaqua:

Within the INNOAQUA project, PEDAL Consulting assumes the role of WP6 leader, responsible for Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation activities. PEDAL coordinates effective communication efforts, facilitates collaboration through clustering activities, and strategically pursues exploitation opportunities.

Additionally, PEDAL is responsible for the development of the IP Management plan, it contributes to the management strategies and conducts the initial Gap Analysis to identify areas for improvement.

About Perseus

PERSEUS can guide you through the labyrinth of laws, regulations and specific standards to facilitate your product regulatory authorization and to work safely and in compliance.

When working in biotechnology, for example with pathogens, infectious substances or GMOs, there are some matters that one should keep in mind. Those include safety for staff and the environment, proper containment infrastructure, the necessary work procedures, the correct permits. One would like to comply with them in a cost-effective way. While doing so, in this ever-complicating world of rules and legislation, one hardly has time to do the real work.

As experts in biotechnology in Europe, Perseus can provide you with all the necessary assistance.

Role in Innoaqua:

PERSEUS will perform a regulatory (safety/health/environmental) assessment to identify relevant legislation and potential regulatory hurdles for the technology and products developed by the other INNOAQUA Partners.

The innovative approach of INNOAQUA’s value chain faces several safety issues (e.g., related to the choice of organisms and production infrastructure) and regulatory requirements for the operation and marketability of the products. Regulatory requirements, especially for innovative cultivation techniques and novel food applications as those proposed here, may in fact represent one of the most relevant hurdles impacting the viability of the solutions.

Thus, addressing such aspects at an early stage will greatly enhance the chance for success while providing essential information for the exploitation business cases.

About Pescanova Hellas

PESCANOVA is a private profit company with central office in Chapela – Redondela, Spain. PESCANOVA belongs to NUEVA PESCANOVA GROUP (NPG), that is a Spanish multinational company specialized in fishing, farming, manufacturing and comercialization of seafood products.

NPG has almost 12,000 employees, and its business activity is focused on carrying the freshness from the sea to the table of the consumer because of the whole value chain control, from the origin to the market. The group has 60 own vessels, 7,000 hectares of vannamei prawn and 2 turbot farms, 17 processing factories, and presence in 80 countries and 5 continents. Sales amounted to 1,087 M€ in 2022.

Role in Innoaqua:

Testing the following products as ingredients, resulting from the research:

  • Seaweed protein from sustainable crops, either as an additional ingredient, or as an alternative to fish protein for vegan products from the sea.
  • Incorporation of omega-3 from seaweed into vegan and hybrid products (fish product in which a part of the product is substituted with algae proteins).
  • Circular biofilm obtained from algal by-products
    Formulation and validation of algae-based food products: vegan fish analogues and hybrid products (algae and fish based).

About Sea Eight

Safiestela, part of the SEA EIGHT group, is a Sole (Solea senegalensis) hatchery that prioritizes sustainable practices in aquaculture, committed to be a provider of responsible seafood. Particularly, Safiestela focuses on producing the best quality fry to be sent to the other on-growing facilities of the group.

The hatchery is pioneer in local land-based Solea senegalensis reproduction, and the Research and Development team is focused on the further development and optimization of RAS technology and methods. The priority is designing RAS solutions that target the best husbandry practices for fish well-fare and environmental sustainability.

Role in Innoaqua:

Safiestela, and the SEA EIGHT group, joins INNOAQUA as a demonstrator of the DEMO #2, where we will test the Integration of RAS Sole aquaculture with seaweed cultivation following a Smart-IMTA approach, a land-based system that enables enhanced seaweed biomass (Ulva, Porphyra and Gracilaria) and fish production. It will be operated together with A4F personnel experienced in seaweed cultivation, and the whole system will be optimized by INESC-TEC that, together with SEA8 and A4F, will identify the operational and system specifications to select, adapt and develop the digital solutions of an improved IMTA system with real-time monitoring and automation of the process.

About Sustainn

Sustainn is a circular economy and sustainability consultancy whose mission is to guide organizations towards a circular and sustainable economic model through innovation, consultancy services and sharing knowledge.

Sustainn is helping organizations in their transition to circular economy from strategy, business model development, sustainability and circularity measurement and the design and development of products and services that produce a positive impact on the planet and people.

Role in Innoaqua:

Sustainn main role in Innoaqua is to lead Work Package 5 (Sustainability, safety and regulation) related to the evaluation of sustainability, circularity and to regulatory and safety assesments of the proposed technologies, innovations and products developed in each demonstration case.

Within WP5, in particular, Sustainn will carry out the socio – economic impact assessment, and life cycle sustainability and circularity assessments of the technologies and products developed within INNOAQUA.

Sustainn will be also involved in the dissemination and communication activities, focusing on the sustainability and circular economy practices implemented within INNOAQUA project.

About Viking Aqua

Viking Aqua is an upcoming fish farmer designing its Next Gen RASTM, a land-based RAS facility for Atlantic salmon, in Skipavika, Norway.

With a concession to produce 33,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon, we focus on raising 5,600 tonnes to the post-smolt stage and 27,400 tonnes to full harvest size. Developed in collaboration with AquaBioTech Group, Framo AS, Overhalla Betongbygg AS, and Viking Aqua, our RAS facility will be built on our 200,000 m2 of land.

Construction of the first phase begins in late autumn 2023, featuring a 30,500 m2 building with 48 modular tanks and separate RAS systems. This phase alone has an annual capacity of up to 18,000 tonnes, from 50 gr to full harvest size. Our Next Gen RASTM emphasizes fish-centricity, industrialization, full automation, and global scalability.

Viking Aqua’s value chain extends from eggs to final products. Through our subsidiary, Gulen Fiskeforedling, we handle our own needs for harvesting and processing in addition to the local community’s salmon and cod processing needs. Our state-of-the-art facility is committed to delivering sustainable, high-quality seafood.

Role in Innoaqua:

Viking Aqua, a land-based Atlantic salmon producer, brings a unique advantage to the INNOAQUA project with their direct control over the entire value chain. While not specialized in microalgae production, their expertise in fish farming practices and the aquaculture value chain allows them to contribute to the project’s goals. Their Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) offer advantages in system management, disease control, and environmental impact.

Through their involvement, Viking Aqua aims to enhance sustainability in aquaculture production. They demonstrate the integration of RAS salmon production with microalgae cultivation, highlighting resource optimization and reduced environmental footprints. Leveraging their existing capabilities, they play a significant role in promoting sustainable and diversified product portfolios, circular production, and the competitiveness of the EU aquaculture industry.

Viking Aqua’s land-based facility is designed to optimize fish production conditions, ensuring high welfare standards and minimal environmental impact. Their participation in the project showcases the potential for waste valorization and resource efficiency.

With their expertise and access to their own facility, Viking Aqua contributes valuable insights and practical knowledge to the INNOAQUA project. Their commitment to sustainability and innovation positions them as a key player in advancing European aquaculture towards more sustainable and efficient practices.

About Viva Maris

Viva Maris is a company based in Schleswig Holstein, Germany, which stands for a way of life in con- formity with nature. With our holistic thinking and the passion of our vision to bring back to western civilisation a long forgotten, healthy and sustainable raw material “algae”, it also supports the pro- tection and health of the oceans.

As a pioneer in the production of algae foods, Viva Maris plays an important role in the nutrition of the future to feed people healthily and sustainably in the generations to come; naturally in a holistic sense, without depleting or polluting resources or harming the environment.

Viva Maris is a market pioneer in the field of food production from algae biomass in Germany.

Viva Maris not only produces and researches on high-quality and sustainable food with algae, but is also committed to the purity and health of the oceans in many ways through projects. This is the only way to protect the sea and ensure the needs of future generations. In this sense, it is more than a food producer – it is a movement that encourages people to actively participate in safeguard- ing and protecting the oceans.

Role in Innoaqua:

Viva Maris participates in different WP of the project but mostly in WP4 with developing innovative seafood products which includes the definition of requirements for the products and packaging
as well as the formulation and validation of those.