WellFish Tech, a spin-out company from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) that monitors the welfare of fish, has been nominated for a prestigious award. The company has reached the final stages of the Aquaculture Awards 2024, recognising its significant contributions to the industry.

Shortlisted for an award in the Innovation category, the nomination highlights WellFish Tech’s commitment to revolutionising fish health management by using non-lethal blood biomarker monitoring.

The company’s groundbreaking approach allows fish farmers to continuously monitor the health of their stock without sacrificing fish. This not only improves fish welfare but also empowers farmers to proactively identify and address potential health issues, ultimately boosting farm productivity within the Scottish salmon and trout sectors.

Brian Quinn, CEO of WellFish Tech said:

“We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this important award, this nomination is a testament to the dedication of our team and the transformative potential of our technology for the aquaculture industry.”

From the beginning, WellFish Tech recognised the importance of establishing a robust data infrastructure fit for the future. Acknowledging that data collected from customer samples would eventually be analysed by an AI platform, the company prioritised building a system for efficient data retrieval and analysis.

In September 2022, WellFish partnered with UWS to appoint Dr Aboua Ange Kevin N’Da as its first data scientist, funded through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Innovate UK. Dr N’Da’s expertise proved instrumental in curating existing and incoming data and starting the process of extracting valuable health insights.

This data-driven approach empowered WellFish to deliver comprehensive fish health reports to industry biologists. Armed with these insights, fish farm managers can now make high-impact decisions about stock treatments and harvesting, significantly reducing the risk of negative outcomes.

Brian Quinn, CEO of WellFish Tech – Speaking of the relationship with UWS’ KTP Centre said:

“Kevin, our KTP Associate allowed us to move with ease in the world of Big (and growing) Data in a way that would otherwise have been very challenging for WellFish which was principally staffed with people from a life, rather than a data, science background. This has been fundamental to the growth of the Company. We are honoured to have been noticed in this category.”

WellFish Tech is a prime example of UWS’ commitment to fostering impactful research and development that translates into real-world solutions for critical industries.

The Aquaculture Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday 15 May at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore.