Project Profile: AquaponicsOpti

Aquaponics optimization in a local climatic, economic and cultural context: maximizing the benefits of a circular bioeconomy for food production


Principal Investigators: Joyce Alyssa, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Partners: Bayir Abdulkadir, Ataturk University, Turkey
Karner Oliver, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Germany
Nan Fan-Hua, National Taiwan Ocean University, Chinese Taipei
Proksch Gundula, University of Washington, United States of America
Portella Maria Celia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil
Salie Khalid, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Full Project Title: Aquaponics optimization in a local climatic, economic and cultural context: maximizing the benefits of a circular bioeconomy for food production
Full Call Title: SSCP2022


Project Objective: Sustainable food production depends on the recovery of water, energy, and nutrients from waste streams within existing supply chains. Greenhouse hydroponic systems (HYP) and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are two intensive food production systems that in combined production as an aquaponics system (AP) can utilize fish wastes as fertilizers, while recycling water and energy to increase both systems' sustainability and efficiency. However, despite significant environmental benefits, such systems current infrastructure costs limit widespread application. Implementing relevant technology for such resource-efficient systems requires designs that can optimize performance. This project contributes to innovative, decarbonized, and resource-efficient food production systems by improving nutrient reuse, increasing energy efficiency and reducing fossil fuel dependence, reducing freshwater needs, and developing scalable models for improving microbial relationships for fish and plant health. Globally, the feasibility and environmental footprint of AP systems depends on climate, technology levels, cultural contexts and socio-technical operation integration. In order to address these needs, this project establishes a global network of AP producers by leveraging international expertise in seven countries across five continents. In direct collaboration with stakeholders, our team will analyze design aspects, business models and consumer preferences, while also carefully examining barriers and economic challenges of AP facilities in different countries. The project consortium represents expertise in aquaculture, horticulture, aquaponics, energy performance, geography, agriculture and the built environment from a wide range of cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. The strength of the consortium rests in our ability to conduct transdisciplinary research to help AP realize its full environmental and socioeconomic potential as an essential part of green economies.
Call Objective: Current patterns of global development based on people’s continuous extraction and exploitation of natural resources are not sustainable, and a societal transition to systems of sustainable consumption and production (SSCP) is urgently needed.

Call themes:

Theme 1 – Transdisciplinary research to help transition to green economies with sustainable systems of consumption and production
Theme 2 – Sustainable and Resilient industries and their governance systems
Theme 3 – Social Inequality and Environmental Justice
Theme 4 – Integrating new technologies, policies, and practices into everyday life




Duration: 36 Months
Call Date:
Project Award Date: