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Taking stock of the cooperation between INAPRO and the Aquaponics Hub

Since the project’s launch in 2014, the INAPRO project team has always sought to establish and maintain fruitful collaborations with other projects, programmes and initiatives working in the field of aquaponics, horticulture, aquaculture and sustainable food production.

In particular, a long term collaboration has been developed with the COST Action FA1305 EU Aquaponics Hub. Cost Actions are interdisciplinary scientific and technology networks funded by the European Union in order to facilitate the exchange between researchers and stakeholders and to support innovation and scientific developments. The Aquaponics Hub is composed by researchers, scientists and SMEs and its objective is to draw the state of the art aquaponic research in order to facilitate innovation and dissemination of this technology. Some INAPRO partners, such as Inagro and Tilamur, are also members of the platform and regularly attend the meetings and report about the project’s progresses.

In 2016, the members of the Hub created the Association of Commercial Aquaponics Companies (ACAC), a network of SMEs which aims to share best practices and information concerning the commercialisation of aquaponics in the EU and abroad. Indeed, the Aquaponics Hub is also assessing the trends and conditions that may contribute or hinder the expansion of commercial aquaponics on the market. In this framework, a paper was published concerning the consumers’ perceptions of aquaponic products in Europe which provides a clear overview of the state of the art commercial aquaponics in the EU. The paper acknowledges that there is an increasing number of aquaponic companies which are active in Europe and that, as a consequence, a clear institutional framework for the production and commercialisation of aquaponic products is needed.

Besides its participation at the Aquaponics Hub’s meetings, INAPRO was also presented to all members of the network on the occasion of the “Aquaponics Research Matters” Conference that took place on the 22nd of March 2016 in Ljubljana. On this occasion, Peter Bleyaert of Inagro gave an overview of the first results of the INAPRO system.

More recently, some INAPRO partners attended the ‘’ conference on aquaponic SMEs that took place in Murcia on the 19th of April 2017. The conference was attended by a hundred delegates that learned more about the opportunities and challenges of commercial aquaponics from different start-ups and SMEs.

The members of the Aquaponics Hub participated also in a field visit to the INAPRO aquaponic facility managed by Tilamur in Murcia where tilapia and tomatoes are currently being produced.

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