Apply for Funding

How to apply

We’ve tried to make the process of applying for SAIC funding as straightforward as possible.

If you would like to apply for SAIC funding, please follow steps 1-3 below. If you are interested in applying for funding from HIE's Accelerating Aquaculture Innovation (AAI) fund, click here for more information.

Step 1 – check your eligibility

First, check our eligibility criteria to make sure you qualify for SAIC funding (see Guidance Notes below).

Step 2 – fill out an Expression of Interest

If you are eligible and have consulted our Guidance Notes, then fill out an Expression of Interest (EoI) form, downloadable under the Governance tab on our Resources page. Return your completed EoI form to projects@scottishaquaculture.com. You will then be assigned a SAIC project manager who will assess your EoI.

Step 3 – submit a full application

If your EoI is successful, you will be invited to submit a full application form (also available to download from our Resources page under the Governance tab). This will be assessed by the SAIC Independent Scientific Panel (SISP), followed by the SAIC Board, following which a decision will be made.

If your EoI is unsuccessful for any reason, you will be given feedback why. Rest assured, all EoIs, applications and related discussions are treated in the strictest confidence.

If you have a question not answered by the Guidance Notes below, just get in touch with the SAIC team on 01786 278318 or at info@scottishaquaculture.com.

Guidance Notes

Your guide to applying for grant funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC)

Section 1: Introduction

Launched in 2014 with £11.1m of Scottish Funding Council (SFC) support, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) is one of eight Innovation Centres aimed at increasing the pace of innovation in sectors of key economic and social importance.

Since day one, we have worked closely with industry to ensure that we channel our resources into the areas – or priority innovation actions (PIAs) – that will benefit the sector the most.

Just as industry challenges and opportunities have evolved over our years in operation, so too have our priority innovation actions, and we are working together to:

PIA 1: Address environmental and health challenges, particularly sea lice and gill health

PIA 2: Develop feeds that optimise fish health and nutrition

PIA 3: Unlock additional capacity for aquaculture development through innovative, evidence-based approaches

PIA 4: Establish a reliable supply of mollusc spat.

The projects we co-fund

Each project we co-fund should contribute to one of the four PIAs outlined above. Equally, it must be a collaboration with at least one industry partner and one academic partner.

Projects must also be innovative in their approach or lead to innovative solutions for Scottish aquaculture.

How do we define innovation? As something novel that creates measurable value – be it commercial, economic, social or public – both for the sector itself and the Scottish economy.

Technology readiness level

Typically, the projects we co-fund sit within Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4 to 7, as defined by the European Commission:

TRL 1 Basic principles observed

TRL 2 Technology concept formulated

TRL 3 Experimental proof of concept

TRL 4 Technology validated in laboratory

TRL 5 Technology validated in relevant environment

TRL 6 Technology demonstration in relevant environment

TRL 7 System prototype demonstrated in operational environment

TRL 8 System complete and qualified

TRL 9 Actual system proven in operational environment

Section 2: Who can apply

Any company that is active within Scottish aquaculture or a related sector (including those headquartered overseas but have operations in Scotland), and is willing to contribute resources to the project – be it cash, in-kind or a combination of both – is eligible to apply.

In collaboration with an industry partner, any recognised Scottish higher education institution (HEI) or research institute can also apply.

Industry or academic, all participating partners must be a member of the SAIC consortium. Not already a member? It’s free and easy to join, email info@scottishaquaculture.com for details.

Section 3: Level of funding

Generally, SAIC funding will be awarded up to a maximum of 50% of the total project cost. Therefore, if you are an industry partner or a consortium of industry partners you must be able to demonstrate that you are able to contribute a minimum of 50% of the cost.

If you are a HEI or research institute, you will be awarded funding at the rate of 80% Full Economic Costing (FEC). The remaining 20% does not constitute a contribution to the project by you, nor will it be payable to you by any other partner.

Please note: SAIC complies with State Aid rules. Full details can be found at the Scottish Funding Council’s State Aid Registration page.