UK-China Agritech Challenge: Aquaculture 4.0 -- Advancing Digital Precision Aquaculture in China (ADPAC)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

The project aims to advance digital precision aquaculture in China towards "Aquaculture 4.0", which is a highly connected and automated cyber-human-physical system using digital technologies. Aquaculture production in China reached 45.5 million tonnes in 2014 (60%+ of world's production, UN FAO). The grand challenge is the extremely low production efficiency, leading to high labour intensity, high energy/water consumption and environment pollution. Innovation is urgently needed for a transformation to digital industrialised aquaculture. The proposal is a timely response to the needs; it will apply and integrate the latest technologies of advanced sensors, 5G-based Internet of Things, Big Data analytics and automation to pilot highly digital precision aquaculture in China. The system is expected to deliver 10-fold increase in production efficiency. The project will open new business opportunities, gaining a competitive advantage by entering the Chinese market at this critical time and by partnering with the key innovators in Chinese aquaculture represented in this consortium. The solution will be also applicable to aquaculture worldwide opening up additional revenue stream.

Planned Impact

Outside academia, the immediate beneficiaries will be the industrial partners in the consortium, in terms of new business opportunities and economic benefits. Beyond the consortium, primary stakeholders of the technology in China will benefit from the innovation, including aquafarm operators and investors, government (central and provincial), research institutions, developers of digital technologies for aquaculture, aquaculture workforce and the general public. Aquafarms, as end-user of the technology, will benefit from substantially improvement in production efficiency through real time process monitoring, analytics and automation. The transition from traditional small-scale labour intensive to modern digital aquaculture has been a priority of the Ministry of Agriculture, China, as well as provincial government agencies; this project is perfectly aligned with such initiative. A wide range of research institutions and commercial providers will benefit from this project, including those focused on aquaculture technology, sensors, wireless communication, IoT, cloud-computing and big data analytics. Finally, the aquaculture workforce will benefit in terms of reduced work intensity and improved work conditions and thus welfare. The general public will benefit from a sustainable supply of aquatic animals as key source of protein (aquaculture currently provides 1/3 of animal protein intake in China), food security and safety, as well as alleviated environmental impact.

In addition to the above primary beneficiaries, UK-based research organisations and industries will also benefit from this work, especially those in manufacturing where IoT applications are particularly relevant (e.g. car manufacturing, pharmaceutical, speciality chemical, consumer goods, etc.). It should be noted that the UK applicants have long-standing collaboration with these key manufacturing sectors, providing the basis of technology transfer between different applications. The sensors and remote monitoring methods will also be of interest to environmental applications, providing benefits to the general public in terms of sustainable ecosystems.

Furthermore, this innovation project synergises with the priorities of the UK government to reach out and collaborate with emerging economies, in this case China. The economic benefits to the UK business partners are likely to translate to more employment. Finally, the generic public will benefit from the knowledge and awareness of the cutting-edge research. The increased awareness of how digital technologies can innovate an apparently traditional sector (aquaculture) could help motivate the younger generation to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), contributing to future economic development and sustained success of the knowledge economy in the UK.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description A new adaptive filtering-based soft sensor method for real-time estimation of total nitrogen concentration in aquaponic system is proposed. This method provides accurate prediction for total nitrogen concentration by integrating mechanistic model, online measurements (e.g. fish biomass, temperature) and infrequent offline measurement.
Exploitation Route Publication in journals; Dissemination via conference presentations and project website; Demonstration at the partner fisheries.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

 
Description A educational development for postgraduate
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact A postgraduate of University of Surrey is cultivated by this award. He mainly focuses on the nutrient modelling of an aquaponic farming. This award provides an opportunity for postgraduate to learn the aquaponic system and know about the modelling technology. The educational and skill level of postgraduate is improved.
 
Description Online training workshop on academic writing and publication
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Professor Yanqing Duan run an online training workshop on "Writing for Academic publications". The workshop was attended by about 20 postgraduate researchers and academic staff members in China Agriculture University. The interactive workshop covered areas of Why publish in high quality journals? Which journal to target? How to write the paper for your chosen journal? What's the reviewing process? How to revise your paper and write your response letter?. As an associate editor of two leading academic journals, Prof Duan shared her editorial experience and relevant examples in delivering the training sessions and addressing many questions from the participants. The feedback from participant were very positive. it confirmed that the workshop helped the participants to develop better understanding on the importance of demonstrating the research rigor and significance in preparing high quality research publications and improved their academic writing skills for future academic publications.
 
Title A Hybrid Water Quality Time Series Prediction Model Approach 
Description The novel hybrid water quality prediction method with ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD)-based LSTM (long short-term memory) neural network enables the sensor data integrity to be improved through linear interpolation and moving average filtering methods of data preprocessing. The EEMD algorithm is applied to decompose the original sensor data into multiple intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). The feature selection is used to carefully select IMFs that strongly correlate with the original sensor data, and integrate both into inputs for the neural network. Then, the novel hybrid EEMD-based LSTM forecasting model is constructed. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The novel research method demonstrated a positive impact in terms of improved water quality prediction accuracy. 
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/20/7079
 
Title CTG Trilux sensors Dataset/Collection of data from Meteor Data Cloud 
Description The Dataset/Collection of data comprises of Turbidity, CHL470, and CHL530. The CHL470 channel measures chlorophyll fluorescence from direct excitation of chlorophyll so should correlate well with phytoplankton biomass in general. The CHL530 channel measures chlorophyll fluorescence from the excitation of an accessory pigment that is found in cyanobacteria. Under normal conditions with no cyanobacteria present, there's likely to be a low level of CHL530 fluorescence emission that tracks with the CHL470 emission as chlorophyll does absorb some green light (at 530nm). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Data analysis and modelling for the development of multi-variate water quality prediction model. 
URL https://telemetry-data.com/viewer2
 
Description A workshop on promoting the adoption of smart aquaculture technologies among Brazilian artisanal fish farmers in Santa Catarina 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Professor Yanqing Duan introduced ADPAC project and talked about precision Aquaculture using smart digital technologies in an one day workshop in Brazil on18 February 2020. The workshop aimed to promote the adoption of digital technologies among artisanal fish farmers in Brazil by a British Council Newton Fund programme. It was attended by fish farmers, undergraduate students, government support officers, and IT service providers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description ADPAC project meeting, Beijing China 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Tahmina Ajmal made a presentation titled "Novel Digital Technologies for Aquaculture" at ADPAC project meeting, which was held on 19th October 2019 at Beijing, China. The project meeting was heavily attended by all the partnering industries and instuttitions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ADPAC skype meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact ADPAC skype meeting is held every one and a half months. In the meeting, all the partners from China and UK will give the presentation to show research progress and work plan. The faced problems are dicussed to push improvement. The skype meeting improves the communications among the partners from different countries and makes sure the implementation of work plan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description An online workshop on AI in Agriculture and Aquaculture: A Decision-Making Perspective 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Professor Yanqing Duan run an online workshop on AI in Agriculture and Aquaculture from A Decision-Making Perspective in December 2020. The workshop was attended by about 20 postgraduate researchers and staff in China Agriculture University (CAU).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description BISC Research Webinar on Making Research Impact 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The seminar focussed on how our externally funded projects are making research impact in practice. The seminar was attended by about 15 to 40 persons that are participating in various funded projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description International Symposium on Water Ecology and Environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Tahmina Ajmal was invited to present her research at the International Symposium on Water Ecology and Environment. The invited talk titled "Tools for Precision Aquaculture" was based on ADPAC research activities. The event was attended by over 100 participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://www.confiswee.com/#/aboutIsweeKeynoteSpeakers
 
Description Smart Food Factory Online Conference & Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Tahmina Ajmal presented an invited talk titled "Using Digital Technology in reducing food waste". This online conference and exhibition, which was held on 10th of September 2020, investigated what future food factories will look like and how current issues should be addressed to realise this vision. The conference and exhibition was attended by participants the ranged between 50 and 100 persons.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://hopin.com/events/smart-food-factory-online-conference-exhibition
 
Description Technical visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The project members from UK including University of Surrey, University of Bedfordshire, Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd and Perceptive Engineering Ltd visited the Laizhou mingbo aquatic products co. Ltd and Ocean University of China. They discussed the related technical problems and further knew about the practical aquaculture production.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Technical visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The project members Dr. Hui Li from University of Surrey visited the Laizhou mingbo aquatic products co. Ltd. She discussed the related technical problems with the workers from mingbo and the researchers from China Agricultural University to know about the practical aquaculture production. Some practical production data and information were collected and analyzed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020