European State of Aquaponics

I was hoping to connect with our European members out there and hear more about the current state of Aquaponics and where they think it is going. Please feel free to DM me or reply here. Very interested in all opinions.

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We at Fontys University of applied science have our hardware working.
The software is a small error, because we can’t find a good advisor about the use of our live stock. We want to use fish or shrimp, for both we are looking in to regulations about animal rights in respect to laboratory animals.

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Thanks @Albert. Greetings to Fontys University!

Is this a primary hurdle for farmers in the Netherlands (in relation to animal rights)?

The last time I talked with someone about the state of AP in the Netherlands they were saying it had slowed down because grant funding opportunities were drying up. Would you say things are picking up again?

I do understand, but, yes, it does make a difference. Our semester is only a few weeks from ending and I’m going to lose one of my trained students to graduation. We need to get in 2 evaluations, one at each site, starting this weekend.

Paul Brown

Dear Jon,

Animal health is a continuous struggle. Especially for Institutions, because of the thin line between laboratory animal regulations and the pets regulations.
Therefore we want to experiment aquaponics with small shrimp. These animals fall outside the regulations.

This definitely seems to be a growing trend (shrimp aspects) for more than just regulatory reasons. I believe Kentucky State University has been experimenting with this for some time now (as well as others).

Do you know of many other commercial farms around you?

There are no farms yet. That is one of the reasons that I’m willing to explore this. I know from an aquarium that there are some cases of shrimp that survive the cold winter in a garden pond.
I am not fond of the idea, shrimp in the garden pond, having an other invasive species getting introduced.

In the context of the H2020 proGIreg project (http://progireg.eu/dortmund) we are working on building a two greenhouse aquaponic research system with approx 200 m² foil tunnel greenhouse each. We are aiming for a deliberate low-tech approach that allows for intermediate usage of urban spaces. Our experience shows that urban spaces are much more difficult to secure than usually thought.

We are going to run one of the two systems unmodified as “control” and are going to ressource optimize the other system with a couple of technical ideas we developed.

As the building permit is still pending, we have not publicly documented anything of this. It is going to become documented starting in May this year. The aquaponic system concept from recycled materials that can be found on that website is not what we are going to build. Is not going to be viable.

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France: Les Nouvelles Fermes raises €2 million to build large aquaponic farm

Les Nouvelles Fermes, a Bordeaux-based startup, has announced that it has raised €2 million to build one of the largest urban aquaponics farms in Europe. In 2019, the 5 founders launched “Pauline”, their experimental farm located in Lormont in the Bordeaux area, which produces 20 tons of fresh vegetables and 2 tons of rainbow trout per year. The founders have now decided to scale up by launching “Odette”, a 5000 m² urban farm, which will employ up to 17 people.

This project, which will be launched at the end of 2021 in the Bordeaux metropolitan area, was made possible thanks to the support of the regional investment fund IRDI, the commitment of business angels, the Banque des Territoires, Crédit Agricole Aquitaine and the CIC. This first round of investment was carried out with the support of the Agence de Développement et d’Innovation de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

“There is no future without profitability. This is why we have been working since 2019 to come up with a model that can be duplicated on a larger scale and is very economical in terms of water and energy,” said Thomas Boisserie, Co-founder and President of Les Nouvelles Fermes.

While agriculture was once closely linked to cities with large market gardens, today’s farmers are often far away from consumer centers and urban centers. A tomato, even within one country, travels an average of 1,500km to reach our plates. In environmental terms, agriculture is now responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Feeding the population is vital, and this sector needs to be revamped to ensure its mission is fulfilled effectively while taking into account current and future environmental issues.

With this new farm, the objectives are clear: to validate an operating model and then reproduce it in the immediate vicinity of the major urban centers in France and Europe, with the possibility to restore abandoned land, while creating agricultural occupations. With this in mind, Les Nouvelles Fermes has already signed a strategic partnership with the company “Orange” in order to develop the technological model that will be deployed on its future farms.

Read the complete article at www.eu-startups.com.

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