The Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre officially opened its doors Sept. 8 following extensive refurbishment.
The innovation center was designed to be a leading international aquatic research facility focused on excellence in feed solutions for aquaculture producers around the world.
The center received more than 600,000 euros in investment and will be home to an expanded team of aquaculture researchers dedicated to quality, innovation and the development of new applications in aquaculture feed. The new facility will boost Alltech and Coppens International’s aquaculture research capabilities while continuing to provide a practical platform for product development and solutions to meet the challenges of modern aquaculture producers.
According to the 2017 Alltech "Global Feed Survey," the aquaculture industry experienced a 12% increase in feed production in 2016, reaching 39.9 million metric tons. Coppens expects this uptick to continue, and this trend underlines the importance of investment in aquaculture technologies, according to Patrick Charlton, chief executive officer of Coppens.
“The center will further develop our already strong aqua research programs and allow us to significantly increase the amount and type of aqua innovation we embark upon,” Charlton said.
Coppens is already collaborating with Guabi, a leading fish feed producer in Brazil. With 43 years in the animal feed business, Guabi entered into a strategic partnership with Alltech earlier this year. Alltech is linking together the leading aquaculture feed producers from opposite sides of the world to accelerate solutions for the aquaculture industry and demonstrate the company’s commitment to developing a global aquaculture nutrition offering.
“The Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre will enable Coppens International to become a global hub of excellence for aqua research,” Charlton said. “To date, our research center has enabled us to achieve global recognition for our recirculating aquaculture systems, and the refurbishment will allow us to continue to build upon this and to expand our work into different species, such as saltwater fish.”
As the company intensifies its research and development efforts, work already is underway to increase manufacturing. Coppens’ feed production facility in Nettetal, Germany, is currently undergoing expansion work and is set to open in early 2018.