More importantly, the proposal received a very positive feedback on “Relevance” from the consulted EU Delegation(s). They mentioned that the proposal has rightly identified the current issues and challenges that seafood industry is encountering globally, and proposes solutions through improvement in higher education which has direct impacts on development of skilled human resource, high quality research & development, efficient technology transfer, and practical planning and policy making.

The project has a consortium of nine Asian partner institutions in Asia which include Khon Kaen University (Thailand), Maejo University (Thailand), University of Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia), Jakarta Fisheries University (Indonesia), Can Tho University (Vietnam), Nong Lam University, HCMC, (Vietnam) and Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1, Hanoi (Vietnam), and four European partners; University of Stirling (UK), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, (Norway) University of Thessaly, Department of Ichthyology & Aquatic Environment (Greece), and EUROTraining (Greece).

The main objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of the Asian partner universities, their lecturers (36) and produce students (90) with new and need-based skills by developing innovative teaching-learning methods, and explore new paradigm shifts in seafood production systems and its value chain to ensure long-term sustainability of seafood and nutrition security. The team plans to develop at least 20 MSc courses and 27 vocational training courses to make available online, develop 40 internship programs establishing nine seafood security centers in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The kick-off meeting or inception workshop was organized at AITCC in April 2018 (Fig 1). Currently, 3-4 lecturers from each partner institution are actively participating in the development of new MSc courses. With a view to understanding innovative teaching and sophisticated laboratory techniques, these lecturers joined one-week trip to NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) during November 5-9, 2018 (Fig. 2). They are also planning to visit Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK during February 10-15, 2019. Working closely with EU partners and building on earlier two EU Asia Link programs, they are implementing this ambitious initiative. Dr Ram C. Bhujel played a key role in developing the proposal and implementing it as Project Coordinator. He serves as Research Associate Professor in Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources Management (AARM) program of the Department of Food, Agriculture and Bio-resources within the School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD).

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