Deliverable D8.1 – Assessment of solutions to improve industry sustainability at farm level

MedAID work package 8 (Integrated proposals for an innovative and competitive sector) will bring together outcomes from MedAID WPs to design and propose innovative management practices in order to improve the overall competitiveness and sustainability of the Mediterranean marine aquaculture sector’s whole value chain. It will do so by improving its zootechnical and business performance and by shifting from a production-based approach to a sustainable market-oriented business with a higher social and consumer reputation. This is undertaken based on the preliminary holistic sustainability assessment of the Mediterranean marine fish farming sector (WP1) and on the specific contributions proposed by disciplinary work packages 2 to 7.

This Deliverable reports on the work implemented in Task 8.1 (Task 8.1. Integration of the assessment and proposed solutions at the farm level), and compiles and integrates results and outputs from previous WPs using a multidimensional approach. The database developed in WP1 Task 1.1, based on a survey of Mediterranean aquaculture farms located throughout the region (Deliverables D1.1, D 1.2, D1.3 ), is used as the main element of analysis, providing indicators and keywords to integrate into an ad hoc technology watch platform, developed by IRTA, to analyse all project technical innovations for farming management, nutrition, operational welfare indicators (OWIs), product quality, genetic improvement, health management and other recommendations to apply in the case study trials and with other potential users. Moreover, business, social and institutional aspects are also considered.

The work has been divided into two subtasks:

Subtask 8.1.1: Integrated analysis and problem solving for information compiling. All resources are stored in an internal monitoring information system at IRTA (SoftVT-IRTA system), which allows any type of information source to be automated. Then, in SoftVT-IRTA, system searches can be structured, using systematic and validated strategies, for broad or targeted topic areas. This platform captures the information needed (internal and external content) by stakeholders and project partners, providing precision research functions.

The first phase was to identify scientific and technological information needs and related sources. This work was carried out as part of WP1’s tasks (Deliverable 1.1). Once discipline sources were identified, the second phase is resource monitoring, where different tools convert data or information (from scientific and patent databases, newsletters, journals and specialized web sources) into RSS format, a format that allows us to automate the information and receive it in an alert format, either in a specific alert system or by e-mail. For the MedAID project, a specific classification and glossary has been created, following the project research pipelines (see Annex 1) and this step is part of phase 3. The fourth phase is information sharing, the step where the MedAID newsletters are designed (see Annex2). Finally, the last phase of this information life cycle is the information system review, which looks at user feedback as well as the discovery of new information resources to cover detected gaps, which are incorporated into the system.

Subtask 8.1.2: Test the validity of the solutions to improve industry sustainability in in-situ farm experimentation, by implementing an innovative ad-hoc software package. SmartWater Benchmarking is a tool designed within the MedAID project, as a part of the SmartWater Suite. This software, with the addition of the benchmarking modules, is based on the information from WP1 and the other project WP strategic recommendations and interactive analysis of the principal indicators (KPIs) related to production parameters. It Includes elements that relate to zootechnics, genetics, health and animal welfare, socio-economic data and governance. The software is based on the categorization of the production sites according to established criteria to allow comparison between production sites in the same category.

The MedAID Tool (Smartwater Benchmarking) is based on annual production and species differentiation. The software is based on the categorization of production sites according to established criteria to allow comparison between production sites in the same category. It helps us to:

1. self-evaluate industry performance at company level,

2. understand differences between facilities,

3. use benchmarking generally and with a particular approach tailored to the facility,

4. apply some potential improvements based on the sector average and following MedAID recommendations.

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