A leader in aquaculture research and training

Based at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus, the AquaFI Hub will position Victoria as a leader in aquaculture research and training; identifying break-through mechanisms to enhance industry growth and create jobs in Victoria and across Australia.

The AquaFI Hub will focus on sustainable fish production, novel feed and aquaculture technology development, and industry training. The work will expand into feed extrusion technology and the development of sustainable ingredients and raw materials for next-generation circular bioeconomy approaches for the seafood sector.

Key outcomes include delivery of an approximately 1,300m2 facility at Waurn Ponds Campus including reconfigurable laboratories for water reticulation and a Feed Innovation Laboratory.

Accelerate innovation and the growth of this expanding global sector

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector globally and is vital to meeting the food demands of future generations. With an emphasis on sustainability and with a commitment to preserve and enhance natural environments, the Aquaculture and Feed Innovation (AquaFI) Hub will include:

  • Construction of a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture research and innovation centre to support rapid industry development in Victoria.
  • An advanced feed extrusion plant for feed manufacture and innovation.
  • Training to deliver the next generation of researchers, innovators, and highly skilled aquaculture workforce.
  • Capability extension of Queenscliff Marine Science Centre with large-scale, sophisticated experimental systems with high-level environmental control.

A self-sustaining business model

The AquaFI Hub will be self-sustaining, building on Deakin’s strong track record of success in aquaculture and in taking innovation to impact. The business model includes engaging industry partners in Research and development, commercial services and commercialisation of research outcomes, and a pipeline of commercial entities and pathways to activate IP.

From years three to ten, a sustainable income model will be derived from seven service offerings:

  1. Aquaculture R&D - Advanced R&D for industry to develop new products, test technologies, investigate climate mitigation strategies and improve product quality.
  2. Raw material development - Novel processing technologies converting high volume, low value materials into high value materials and bioactives.
  3. Bespoke feeds - Commercialisation of feeds for the hobbyist industry and research community.
  4. Feed manufacturing services - Customised manufacturing of feeds charged at fee-for-service rate.
  5. Feed extrusion courses - Intensive training focusing on extruder operation and maintenance.
  6. Expert services - Consulting services to commercial feed companies, raw material producers and farmers.
  7. Co-Innovation Research and Training Spaces - Multifunctional spaces to enable co-innovation with industry stakeholders and collaborators.

To find out how you can partner with us contact Deakin Research.

Get in touch

For further information on our other VHESIF funded projects please visit the links below.

Contact Us

For all enquiries about the AquaFI Hub please contact:
David Francis
Associate Professor of Aquaculture
d.francis@deakin.edu.au