The ongoing Horizon 2020 initiative COLUMBUS is pioneering a new technique to better understand how to optimise the use of knowledge derived from research. Through the COLUMBUS project’s process of identification of Knowledge Outputs (KOs), and the development of Knowledge Transfer plans to facilitate the increase of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to bring this knowledge to market, COLUMBUS partners organised a special event at European Aquaculture Society’s Aquaculture Europe 2017 (AE2017) conference on 18 October 2017, Dubrovnik, to present several aquaculture case studies that are currently going through the process.
Case studies were presented which consisted of innovative knowledge being effectively transferred and applied with measurable impact. These presentations were broad and varied, examples include:
• A sensor whose technology originated from the oceanographic sector, where it was used to measure ice-melt but was now finding new applications in waste water, drinking water and Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS).
• An app, called Fish Shape, whose unique selling point lies in the opportunity to pick up the onset of juvenile fish malformations before they become visible.
Following the presentations, an open forum was held and moderated by COLUMBUS partner and owner of AQUARK, Panos Christofilogiannis. As well as identifying end-users and ‘knowledge amplifiers’ for the knowledge that was presented, and discussing important related subjects such as intellectual property, the attendees also brainstormed on new ideas and projects.
In total, the half-day workshop attracted around 60 participants from ten countries, representing a fair cross-section of the stakeholder participation of AE2017.
In addition, COLUMBUS partners and Knowledge Transfer experts were also present at the COLUMBUS Brokerage Stand during the rest of the conference to allow interested parties to set up individual meetings to review their project and its potential. For those wishing to go further, this would be the start of a process towards impact, and a relationship with COLUMBUS, that could include: mentorship in the protection of intellectual property; development of a business plan; identification of end-users and development partners; and, assessment of appropriate channels to market.
Over the years, Aquaculture Europe has developed into an event to share and communicate the latest scientific research and attracts a dynamic and multi-disciplinary audience. AE2017 attracted a total participation of 1700 from more than 60 countries, with 92 exhibitors present at the trade show. Following the success of COLUMBUS’ Brokerage Event, the European Aquaculture Society has decided to adopt brokerage events as an integral part of its Aquaculture Europe events – to stimulate knowledge transfer between researchers and exhibitors, to mentor students and to develop B2B contacts between companies in attendance.