Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has developed a fish farming method in which sea containers can be efficiently utilized as fish farming units. The unit includes both a fish tank and the necessary water recycling technology. The container-based modular solution enables scalable plug-and-play farm solutions. Luke has applied for a patent for the developed technology, and Business Finland’s Research to business funding of EUR 378,000 has just been granted for preparation of commercialization project.
Luke’s innovation enables the effective utilization of breeding technology in containers, for example. The core idea of the developed plant concept is modularity and the utilization of multifunctional technologies in water treatment. “Modular concept brings savings in design costs, component manufacturing and procurement costs, and plant set-up costs,” says project leader Tapio Kiuru from Luke. Other benefits of the new technology include low water consumption, energy efficiency and a fast production cycle.
A prototype of a fish container unit has been tested in Laukaa. The on-going project will ensure the business functionality of the concept and create the conditions for the commercialization of the concept. “The project will also bring together the necessary collaboration models and networks and will result in a business model and commercialization plans that will lay the groundwork for new business, whether in a start-up or existing company,” Kiuru states.
The solution, which is assembled from ready-made modules, also enables the rapid assembly of the plant and the start of production. Production can be phased and it can be flexibly scaled. The modular plant concept and the possibility of a simpler partial circulation of water instead of full recirculation also makes implementation of new technology easier. “Luke’s method can meet several of the current key challenges in circulating aquaculture, such as high investment costs and, for example, high feed and labor costs,” says Kiuru.
Luke has recently been successful in seeking funding for commercialization projects. Research to Business funding has been granted for the Natural Antivirals project, which develops new cosmetics and hygiene products based on natural compounds to control the coronavirus pandemic and future epidemics, and the Cucumber Factory project, which develops a novel vertical farming solution for high-wire crops.
“The key is the use of multi-functional technologies in order to save both investment and running costs. Low water consumption and energy efficiency can be mentioned, as well as off-flavor free production strategy that it allows. What comes to shipping containers, we are not the first to bring them to aquaculture, but Luke’s new innovation makes the effective utilization of shipping containers possible in aquaculture,” Kiuru adds.
The news has been updated on September 22, 2021. The detailed section points out that a patent has been applied for for a new water treatment technology to be used in containers. In addition, the benefits of new technology are highlighted.