AquaSure: Improving resilience and sustainability of small aquaculture farmers

What is the product/service about?

The project aims to develop an affordable water filtration system for the removal of solid waste in the fish ponds, and tailor-made for inland small to medium sized rainbow trout farmers operating in open flow systems continuously.
Small-scale proof of concept unit of AquaSure® system is being demonstrated onsite in a fish farm in the Cauca Valley (Colombia) to finally deliver a system that solves the filtration needs of small-medium farmers.
AquaSure® is conceptually based on Filtration Drums,and will be modular to reduce initial CAPEX, linking the system with production capacity,and reduce OPEX by working in a self-adaptative mode. It will allow farmers acquiring the technology in line with their investment capacity and production requirements.

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Where did the project idea come from?

The idea arose after several contacts with fish producers in Colombia that were looking for innovation on the water management to avoid unsustainable practices as their intensive production systems are challenged by environmental,economic and social concerns.
Current innovations are mainly developed for large producers and hardly reach these farmers due to limitations in investments, though they represent 96% of fish farmers globally, making them less competitive and likely to comply with environmental regulations and prone to economic losses due to severe extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change.

Why did you select that specific target country?

Colombia is strategic for Bioazul we have very good relationship with the local counterpart, our early adopter,ASTRUCEL which is an association of fish farmers, and we could cocreate with them a system adapted to their production conditions and investment capacity that could be later replicated in other countries.
Colombia is also an important market for continental aquaculture which is steady growing.
In addition,Colombia regulatory framework support innovations in the fields bioeconomy and circular economy,climate change and implementation of food sustainable systems. Therefore, we expect to get further support for the system scale up and implementation.

Who are your partners in the target country?

SUBCONTRACTOR 1:ASTRUCEL an association of 22 small and medium producers located in the La Cecilia village {Cauca Valley,Colombia). They are supporting Bioazul in the construction and demonstration of the AquaSure® small-scale proof of concept unit, given the needed feedback on the system performance for its optimisation.

What is your long term vision for your company working in your chosen partner country?

The demonstration activities would create a reference in real environment and create opportunities for Bioazul to enter in international markets with the water filtration system AquaSure®. First target market is Colombia and later we will approach of countries such as Brazil,Chile,Peru and Ecuador.

What impact do you believe INNOWWIDE will have on your company?

The impact is strongly related to the possibility of Bioazul internationalization of technologies codeveloped by the potential clients, adapted to specific conditions and affordable form small medium producers. There is nothing similar available in the market,therefore Bioazul could become leader in delivering AquaSure® water filtration systems to the aquaculture global market.

Can you offer any advice or guidance to others looking to apply for INNOWWIDE grants?

It is key to base the project idea on the resolution of a real problem in a market with high potentiality. The VAP should be designed to get the most of the data and feedback from local partners to build a robust commercial offer.

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