Nofima Centre for Recirculation in Aquaculture is among the research stations in the project. Photo: Bendik Fyhn Terjesen/Nofima


Aquaculture infrastructures for excellence in European fish research

 Production biology  

AQUAEXCEL will provide the European research community with a platform of top class infrastructures efficiently offering tools to cope with the complex challenges the aquaculture is facing. Nofima's research facilities at Sunndalsøra and Tromsø are part of these top class infrastructures

Time:1. March 2011 – 28. February 2015
Financed by: EUs FP7
In cooperation with:7 partners and 23 locations
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Åsa Maria O. Espmark
Åsa Maria O. Espmark

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 991 60 039

AQUAEXCEL offers innovative, full-specter research opportunities in a coordinated approach. This will be done through the provision of a wide range of production systems (recirculation, flow-through, hatchery, cage, and pond systems), environments (freshwater and marine, cold and warm water), scales (small, medium and industrial scale) and aquaculture fish species (sea bass, sea bream, salmon, cod, trout, carp…).


The overall objective of AQUAEXCEL is to integrate, on a European scale, key aquaculture research infrastructures, in order to promote their coordinated use and development. To achieve this objective, AQUAEXCEL will:

  • link, coordinate and create the basis for synergetic research projects among the major aquaculture research infrastructures in Europe: cage, flow-through, recirculation, pond and hatchery aquaculture systems, land and sea based, fresh and salt water installations
  • provide a harmonised and optimised access to state-of-the-art aquaculture research infrastructures within any relevant scientific field
  • increase resource sharing between partners, notably but not exclusively fish models and experimental methods developed in-house
  • stimulate the adoption of innovation through transfer of knowledge, harmonisation of best practices and development of common standards across fields of research, production systems and species
  • harmonise and organise the flux of research data generated by the research infrastructures
  • develop, implement and evaluate technical solutions for providing remote access to aquaculture research facilities (e-Infrastructure)
  • develop new methods that allow the use of individual fish as experimental units, to reduce and refine the use of experimental animals in aquaculture research
  • increase the industrial applicability of research results through the development of a scale correction model
  • develop and test standardised experimental lines (including isogenic lines) to improve the acquisition of basic biological data of aquaculture species
  • bridge the gap between the scientific community and the commercial sector through stimulation of problem-based research and enhanced knowledge transfer

Nofima’s role

Nofima contributes with two research facilities;

  • Nofima Centre for Recirculation in Aquaculture at Sunndalsøra
  • Norwegian Cod Breeding Centre

Nofima is the leader for work package 3 (Upscaling og validity of research results). This WP will also be of value to RA2 (Using individual fish as experimental unit) on needed number of animals in experiments. Nofima will further contribute to several other tasks, especially in developing research e-infrastructure.

AQUAEXCEL is a collaboration among 17 partners and 23 facilities.


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Centre for Marine Aquaculture

The centre and its associated marine facility are designed for breeding cod, but also offer outstanding facilities for other types of trials with cod and other marine species.