Work Package 1:

Management of TNA to AQUAEXCEL3.0
aquaculture facilities & user support

Lead partner:

University of Stirling

WP leader:

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

This Work Package will develop open, inclusive, streamlined and efficient access for academic and industry researchers at all career stages, to the best aquaculture research infrastructures in Europe by:

  • Developing and maintaining a platform for managing TNA applications
  • Managing all calls, review and selection process of TNA applications
  • Providing full support to TNA applicants and monitoring all accesses
  • Evaluating and continuously improving the access provided

Work Package 2:

Industry-driven innovation
and sustainability

Lead partner:


WP leader:

Alexandra Neyts

This Work Package aims to consolidate the role of AQUAEXCEL3.0 as a broker between the scientific community and the industry with the ultimate goal to sustainably promote innovation. To do so, WP2 will:

  • Promote industrial relevance of experimental research
  • Facilitate uptake of research knowledge outputs by potential end users
  • Consolidate the role of aquaculture research infrastructures in the European innovation landscape

Work Package 3:

Capacity building, communication,
dissemination & impact

Lead partner:

ERINN Innovation

WP leader:

Marieke Reuver –
Jane Maher –

This Work Package’s main aim is to ensure effective capacity building, external communication and dissemination of AQUAEXCEL3.0 results and knowledge (including from TNA projects), and so contributing to socio-economic impact and promotion of innovation in the European aquaculture sector. We will specifically:

  • Elaborate and implement the AQUAEXCEL3.0 Dissemination and Exploitation Plan on an ongoing basis over the full duration of the project
  • Facilitate communication and dissemination amongst aquaculture stakeholders for a widespread awareness of the AQUAEXCEL3.0 project, activities and results
  • Provide sustainable (online) aquaculture training courses, focusing on the spreading of good practices and transfer of knowledge based on project results
  • Provide an Exchange Programme for RI technicians, between AQUAEXCEL3.0 partner institutes, to foster a culture of cooperation between RIs and learn best practice from each other, also building upon expertise gained in previous AQUAEXCEL projects

Work Package 4:

Technological tools for improved
experimental procedures

Lead partner:


WP leader:

Eleni Kelasidi

This Work Package aims to investigate and propose technological tools that will contribute to improved experimental procedures through 1) virtual representations of TNA-infrastructures (Virtual TNA) using an advanced and diversified virtual laboratory with realistic models of aquaculture infrastructures, 2) advanced knowledge on the use of biotelemetry in aquaculture research and identify the best practice for how biotelemetry may be used to study fish in different infrastructure types, and 3) establishment and validation of the use of nanopore technologies for real-time monitoring of microbial communities in experimental infrastructures. WP4 will build upon the results of AQUAEXCEL2020 (esp. Virtual Laboratories and the implanted biosensor FishBIT) to optimize the use of experimental resources, improve experimental design and test power and provide services directly implementable in TNA facilities. The specific objectives of WP4 are to develop:

  • An artificial agent supporting users of an extended Virtual Laboratory
  • New methods for post-processing data from state-of-the-art biotelemetry tools
  • Guidelines and tools for the use of nanopore sequencing in the analysing of microbiome samples

Work Package 5:

New biological models for aquaculture
research using innovative biotechnologies

Lead partner:


WP leader:

Jean-Jacques Lareyre

The global objective of WP5 is to develop innovative biotechnologies that will overcome the difficulties encountered in the production and long-term maintenance of in vivo and in vitro biological models relevant for the acquisition of basic and applied knowledge in different fields of aquaculture research (reproduction, growth, nutrition, immunity, product quality for human consumption). In addition, WP5 will contribute to reduce or even replace the use of experimental fish. Specifically, the aims are to develop:

  • Biotechnologies based on germ stem cell (GSC) grafting to produce isogenic fish lines and to maintain, regenerate, and propagate any fish lines required for TNA
  • Organoids and gene edited fish cell lines to investigate complex biological functions and provide in vitro pre-screening tools
  • The use of the CRISPR/cas9 techniques in target aquaculture species in order to unravel new specific gene functions involved in animal traits that cannot be explored using in vitro models yet (growth, flesh quality, meat allergy, health, welfare, behavior, epigenetics)

Work Package 6:

Improvement of fish welfare in
experiments and industry

Lead partner:


WP leader:

Åsa Maria Espmark

This Work Package aims to harmonize knowledge about welfare indicators across the most important European aquaculture species and to improve fish welfare in experiments

  • Identify joint welfare indicators for key European fish species used in aquaculture research and prepare user friendly guidelines on how to apply these in the lab and industry
  • Identify and evaluate existing technologies that can be used for European aquaculture species to measure and monitor common welfare indicators
  • Improve welfare and the evaluation of it by implementation of enrichment to experimental units, and develop a training/exercising protocol for fish early life stages for promoting robust juvenile fish

Work Package 7:

Consortium coordination and project

Lead partner:


WP leader:

Marc Vandeputte

WP7 has a three-fold objective:

  • At the strategic and ethical level: to steer the project to address all unexpected situations, be these scientific, technological, environmental or societal.
  • At the operational level: to ensure that the project progresses in conformity with the work plan with regard to overall progress, milestones, deliverables, and planned resources.
  • At the organisational level: to optimise the infrastructural setup to support the project, with special attention paid to finances, data management, logistics, information, coordination issues and in terms of quality and conformity to EC rules and procedures.