A total of 9 start-ups with backgrounds in fields such as engineering, IT and agriculture attended the BIM Innovation Studio at the RDI Hub in Killorglin this month.
The program, formerly known as BIM’s Aquaculture Accelerator, is managed by BIM in partnership with global accelerator Hatch and took place as an in-person event for two weeks.
To date, 38 of these start-ups have participated in BIM’s Innovation Studios, raising more than 9 million euros and generating more than 40 aquatech jobs in Ireland.
An Aquatech Community Day was held during this year’s Innovation Studio, during which Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue TD gave the keynote address.
Guests at the open house included members of the aquaculture industry, Irish and international investors, government officials and Innovation Studio 2021 attendees as well as alumni.
Addressing the audience via a live video broadcast, Minister McConalogue explained how major technological advancements have been a recurring feature of our history and how this emerging innovation and new technological direction for the aquaculture industry are already transforming the industry, on and around this island. the world.
The minister also spoke about the role of Innovation Studios in helping to achieve the ambitious goals set out in his department’s Food Vision 2030 strategy, namely ‘Attracting global investments in aquaculture technology’ and ‘Promoting Ireland as a as knowledge base for aquaculture technology and research and attract investment on our knowledge base ”.
Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM, presented the future of aquaculture in Ireland, highlighting Ireland’s unique and fortunate position of having a young, skilled and vibrant population, where the average age is 38 years and where nearly 6 in ten adults have a third level of education.
The continued goal of BIM’s innovation studios is to create a dynamic environment for start-ups with new ideas for aquatech where they can innovate, experiment and test their ideas with leading experts from across the world. aquaculture, finance and marketing. The Studios also provide these start-ups with access to venture capital funds – where they can quickly secure seed funding – and where they can quickly and nimbly fill gaps in the global aquaculture market. The fastest growing protein sector in the world.
BIM is currently working on the creation of an Irish dedicated aquaculture fund to further support growing aquatech companies that have already participated in their innovation studios. Hatch is also raising a fund of 75 million euros for global innovation in aquaculture.
The Innovation Studio is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and helps nurture early ideas in aquatech.