Waterford experts row in on environmentally-friendly fish farm research

14 Apr 2015

Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) is coordinating an aquaculture research project that will pool knowledge and tech to improve the global fish farm industry.

With an ultimate aim of boosting both production and jobs in the aquaculture arena, AquaSmart is being led by Dr Steven Davy in Waterford, with the €3.1m project funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel will also take part in the two-year programme, with the pooling of resources the prime tool in this project’s aim of improving knowledge in the whole area of fish farming.

“TSSG is the project coordinator for AquaSmart and, as part of our role, will design and develop the core technologies to be used for hosting and processing the aquaculture open data,” explains Dr Steven Davy.

“To achieve this, a set of Use Cases will be generated within the project and we will use these to design and prepare the required cloud infrastructure.”

Those taking part in the project will be turning large volumes of heterogeneous aquaculture data into knowledge to eventually help businesses operating in the field. Ultimately, they will be able to access and analyse global open data for the benefit of the sector, without harming the environment.

“A data collection framework will be generated that includes guidelines for users on how to compile a data set from their production data in a suitable format to perform data analysis,” says Dr Davy.

“And then, through close cooperation with the companies in the consortium, we will provide the necessary assistance on how to use the system, interpret the results and identify problems or obstacles for the users.”

The partners will extract key knowledge from current data and experiences of the sector and, in doing so, they will be able to quickly evaluate and identify the best management practices and rapid solutions for problems or issues that arise.

“We will then cooperate with the users to evaluate the real business benefits from the use of the system. Within TSSG we will also drive the mobility aspects of the project, taking one of our current eLearning mobile app technologies and applying it in the context of AquaSmart, for use in training for the end users,” he said.

TSSG’s Dr Steven Davy

Included with TSSG on the project are Q-Validus at NexusUCD in Dublin, both Olokliromena Pliroforiaka Sistimata and Grammos in Greece, Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Novas Technologias in Portugal, Ardag Cooperative Agricultural Society in Israel, Niordseas in Spain, and Institut Jozef Stefan Slovenia.

Fish farm image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic