A Project Manager (PM) is required to manage SMARTAQUA, a WEFO funded Operation designed to boost non-food aquaculture in Wales. Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food industry and has been highlighted as a key development area in Wales and the UK due to its potential contribution to the sustainability and security of the food supply, and its role in economic development. Yet, with only 0.3% of the UK’s share in finfish production and 36% share of shellfish production, Aquaculture remains under developed in Wales, despite the fact that the aspiration of Welsh Government is to make it a key economic sector, particularly for rural communities. Driven by the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), SMARTAQUA is a four-year, £2 million operation under the ERDF Priority 1: Research and Innovation, Specific Objective 1.2 that aims to reverse this situation.
Building on CSAR’s internationally-recognised expertise on sustainable aquaculture and recirculation technology, as well as strong links with business, SMARTAQUA aims to steer the next expansion of Welsh Aquaculture in the Non-Food Aquaculture market, a science-driven niche sector where Wales can take the lead. The overarching aim of the SMARTAQUA operation is to enable the development of non-food aquaculture in West Wales and the Valleys (WWV) by the adoption of advanced aquaculture technologies, thereby increasing competitiveness and future proofing. This will be achieved by means of demand-led collaborative RD&I and knowledge exchange with industry through an Adaptive Smart Specialisation approach, whereby the operation will harness the internationally-recognised expertise in Sustainable Aquaculture and Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) available at CSAR to improve the economic prosperity of the Region.
Given the scarcity of mainstream aquaculture sites in Wales, and the saturated and highly competitive food markets, SMARTAQUA will target three Adaptive Smart Specialisations including (1) cleaner fish production, (2) fish for biomedical research and the aquarium trade, and (3) algal-based aquafeeds and nutraceuticals. These specialisations represent niche, rapidly-growing aquaculture subsectors where Wales can expand its Aquaculture potential. They provide an excellent opportunity to address the need for Research Development and Innovation (RD&I) in Wales by facilitating collaboration between academia and industry in areas that can achieve high economic impact.
The post holder will be responsible for leading the operation on all management matters including dealing with WEFO and other University departments on a routine basis. This will require the post holder to build relationships with the Operation Delivery Team and the management and support staff at Swansea. In addition, the post holder will provide support to the SMARTAQUA Principal Investigator, including preparation of records and reports. In order to provide effective management, the post holder will be expected to be formally qualified to a high level in science and be able to interact on a professional level with senior staff at SU. The role holder will also be required to provide leadership to a small administrative coordination team in ensuring that the operation delivers its outputs and that suitable systems are in place to ensure control of expenditure, that evidence gathering is appropriate and that the operation complies with State Aid regulations. She/he will be responsible for marketing the operation and for addressing any deviation from the agreed delivery and expenditure profiles. The role holder will also be instrumental in the preparation of business plans and complex budgets for other external funding applications. Excellent communication skills both written and oral will be essential to this role.
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