Scottish aquaculture businesses set for revenue growth after successful Aqua Nor 2023

Scottish aquaculture businesses set for revenue growth after successful Aqua Nor 2023

The Scottish Pavilion at Aqua Nor 2023

Aqua Nor 2023, the world’s largest aquaculture technology showcase held in Trondheim, Norway, has proven to be a significant success for Scottish aquaculture businesses.

A collaborative effort by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), and the Scottish Government (Marine Directorate) saw 18 aquaculture supply chain businesses from Scotland participate in the event, attended by an estimated 25,000 people from 76 countries.

The Scottish pavilion, officially opened by Mairi Gougeon, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, aimed to showcase Scotland’s innovation and capability in technology, products, and services.

Comprising 20 exhibitor pods, presentation spaces, and collaboration areas, the pavilion received positive feedback, with 94% of exhibitors stating that the event met or exceeded expectations.

Feedback indicates a promising outlook for the participating businesses, as 76% of exhibitors expect an increase in turnover over the next three years due to their attendance at Aqua Nor. Furthermore, the delegation expressed optimism about new business contacts or leads (59%), opportunities with existing contacts (59%), potential new customers (59%), and potential new markets (55%).

The Scottish cohort included representatives from OTAQ, GenusWave, MiAlgae, Krucial, Moredun Scientific, Otter Ferry Seafish, Tritonia Scientific, Brimmond, SAMS Enterprise, I&C Process Solutions, KelpRing, Aqualife Services, Underwater Contracting, Veramaris, DSM-firmenich, Fish Farmer Magazine, Tritech and the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture.

Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink and life sciences at HIE, said: “Scotland’s significant presence at Aqua Nor was enabled by collaborative investment and commitment from several organisations.

“I am delighted that the businesses who participated are benefiting from the contacts and conversations they had at the show and HIE will continue to support enterprises from the region to realise opportunities.

“Whilst this post-event report is very positive, we know that commercial discussions are still developing, and the full trade and investment impacts of Aqua Nor 2023 will only be truly captured in a later business survey.”

Tom Murdoch, managing director at Brimmond and an exhibitor at the pavilion, said: “Aqua Nor surpassed our expectations – the size and footfall of the show was greater than I had expected.

“We secured the rental of a large marine crane to one of the world’s biggest aquaculture companies off the back of discussions we had at the show.”

Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I was delighted to lead Scotland’s presence at Aqua Nor this year and to see first-hand the impact Scottish Government funding is making.

“Through the excellent Scottish Pavilion, delivered in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre, we were able to support Scottish businesses in the aquaculture sector to reach new audiences and potential customers, while promoting the innovation and quality of their products.

“The positive feedback from Scottish exhibitors highlights the importance of Scotland attending major international conferences such as these and I look forward to hearing more about the partnerships and opportunities created as a result.”

Ms Gougeon added: “Following on from Aqua Nor’s success, I am now looking forward to continuing to promote Scotland’s innovative and ambitious aquaculture sector on the international stage at Aqua Sur in March.

“The event takes place in Chile, the world’s second largest producer of farmed salmon behind Norway, presenting opportunities to strengthen ties between our two nations.

“This includes increasing understanding of the Chilean aquaculture ecosystem, promoting our innovation and commitment to quality and high welfare standards, while also creating economic opportunities for Scotland.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, added: “The feedback we have received so far on the Scottish pavilion is overwhelmingly positive, although it may be too early to measure the tangible economic impact.

“There was a steady stream of visitors over the course of the event, underpinning the message that Scotland is innovative and open for business.

“Pulling together as Team Scotland builds on SAIC’s role as a hub for connecting different areas of the sector and the academic community. It also lent a valuable helping hand to SMEs that may not otherwise have been able to attend.”

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