FEATURE ment of the Aquaculture industry in Malaysia and AwF will be creating some guidance for that.
STEM States hosts conferences and events around the world every year, and each one plays a role in bringing the international community to the host city, and leaving tangible benefits to the host city. Upon launching in September 2013, five states took up full membership: • Western Australia (Led by Murdoch University and the AsiaPacific Society for Solar and Hybrid Technologies) • New York, USA (Led by the Global Industry Development Network; AwF also is a member of this network) • Sarawak, Malaysia (Led by STEM States Malaysia and the Department for Advanced Education) • Saskatchewan, Canada (Led by Tourism Saskatoon, Innovation Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan) • Nova Scotia, Canada (Led by the Department of Education and the Halifax Convention Centre) The United Arab Emirates, China, India, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Tanzania and Brazil have also applied to become members at different levels, and the potential for AwF through this association could lead to activities in all those countries. The Aquaculture Borneo connection sees AwF possibly involved in working collaboratively on the formation of an Aqua Learning Centre within Malaysia, with the purpose of educating and upskilling locals and people from around the region, and the establishment or introduction of aqua training programs within technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM). Additionally, a conference that will take place in Malaysia in 2015 that will have specific track dedicated to the develop-
In the UK, a project called REFARM (Research and Education in Foods, Aqua-foods and Renewable Materials) has been started between the Global Biotechnology Transfer Foundation (GBTF), Seafox Management Consultants Ltd (SMCL) and AwF. GBTF is an international, not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote awareness of the potential for biotechnology to support sustainable, long-term, socio-economic development. It aims to achieve its mission through three platforms: education, demonstration and implementation. SMCL is based in Grimsby, working closely with the Grimsby and Humber regional seafood processing sector. The business is at the forefront of the seafood cluster and works closely with local groups such as the Grimsby Fish Merchants association, Seafood Grimsby and the Humber Cluster Group, the Seafish Authority and private-sector seafood businesses. It works internationally too with supply-chain support and also represents the North Atlantic Seafood Conference in the UK. Additionally, the business has a particular skill-set towards accessing funding and grants for major projects. GBTF has acquired a brown-field site at Brookenby, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire which includes buildings and 4 hectares (10 acres) of open land, which provides for significant expansion as well as access to a 130-hectare farm which will be used for crop trial and field demonstrations. There are many aspects to this partnership, but in summary we want to link developed-world infrastructure with developing-world needs for education, training and technology transfer to develop grassroots entrepreneurs. At the same time, the aim is to be producing a highly nutritious protein for the local market, and by taking an open and transparent path could open the door for the UK to become food-secure on seafood. The connection to biotech adds dimensions that are not currently happening on any major scale. Given the interactions between Europe and Africa regarding food production and technology transfer, our approach will hopefully be seen as a catalyst for collaboration on the future. If successful, this approach can be copied in other parts of the world using an eco-cluster model.
Networks: gender, students and indigenous people
We are making an effort to broaden the base for AwF to maximise our reach and engage more people in networks. From an internal perspective, initially we have established a Women/Gender Network and have plans to establish a Schools/Students Network and an Indigenous Network. Establishing such networks is no easy feat, and takes time and patience to organise well. With members at all ends of the earth, it is always difficult to find the right time and means of communication. Eventually, there is belief that these networks will be a driving force for AwF, so the time and effort put in by all will definitely be worthwhile. There is always the pressure within the groups to set lofty agendas which might be too difficult to achieve in the early days, so tempering expectations and keeping the aims/outcomes on the low side to start is essential until we find our feet. It has been an excellent start with the Women/Gender network,
24 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | March-April 2015
The March - April 2015 edition of International Aquafeed magazine