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Blue Economy scopes out research projects

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Feed barges constitute a significant portion of off-shore energy demand for aquaculture operators (Photo: Huon Aquaculture).

The Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BECRC) has taken its first steps in foundational work that will underpin its research agenda, with the announcement of 17 short-term scoping projects. These industry-focused projects involve collaboration between industry and research partners and will guide the CRC’s future.

The new projects are spread across the five BECRC research program areas, involving collaboration with 40 participant organisations across the world and running over the next six months. They are driven by the needs of industry partners and the end-users with whom they engage. The scoping projects cover a range of areas, including research into the following:

  • Key challenges for offshore high-energy salmon aquaculture production;
  • Integrated offshore aquaculture and renewable energy infrastructure designs;
  • Types of marine energy conversion devices suited to offshore conditions that support energy export (such as hydrogen) and storage, as well as aquaculture applications;
  • Robust site selection procedures, and environmental and operational monitoring strategies including the application of remote monitoring technologies;
  • Decision support tools for identifying trade-offs and synergies among emerging blue industries and human activities; and
  • Ethical, policy and regulatory frameworks for Australia’s emerging Blue Economy and systems for their integration

“The purpose of these projects is to help the Blue Economy CRC develop a clear understanding of existing technologies, solutions, knowledge and trends, and to identify the major challenges and opportunities in each research area,” said BECRC Chief Executive Officer, Dr John Whittington.

“These projects will not only provide a platform for future research investment by the BECRC, they will directly benefit our industry partners by pulling together the latest developments in science and technology in this evolving market. These projects will support the development of Australia’s sustainable blue economy through the delivery of world-class, industry-focused research into integrated seafood and renewable energy production systems,” he said.

The total projects are valued at over $2.3 million, consisting of $858,124 in funding direct from the BECRC, and $1,445,317 worth of in-kind commitments from our partners.

Published on: 09 Jun 2020