Fisheries & Aquaculture News

SAIC Appoints Aquaculture Expert to New Director Role

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has announced the forthcoming departure of director of innovation and engagement Sarah Riddle and the arrival of sector stalwart Ed Ley-Wilson, as the innovation center begins a new phase of its development.

After more than three years at SAIC, Sarah has decided to focus more on her family business Northern Light Consulting. She continued as a director in the consultancy alongside her part-time role at SAIC after joining the innovation center in May 2020.

During Sarah’s time with SAIC, the innovation center has seen its membership consortium exceed 340 organizations, reached the milestone of 100 funded R&D projects, and drawn £4.67 of third-party funding for every £1 of its own investment.

Ed Ley-Wilson will now take up the newly created role of director of innovation and business development, as SAIC looks to its third phase. Most recently head of aquaculture at Aquascot, a supplier of Scottish salmon products, he has 16 years’ experience in salmon farming, food processing, and retailer engagement.

Ed has worked with universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the aquaculture supply chain, regulators, and industry leadership groups and has particular expertise in innovation around fish welfare and feed alternatives, as well as sustainability and community impact.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “In 2020, we decided to redefine SAIC’s role and mission to achieve specific goals. Sarah joined us to help with that process and has been a huge part of successfully delivering on the aims we set out at that point. While we are sorry to see her go, Sarah has achieved everything we had hoped for and more, and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

“Ed will be an excellent addition to the SAIC team, providing a great deal of continuity with his breadth and depth of experience. He also brings with him the background and skills we need as we prepare to enter a new phase for the innovation center with a new focus and plans to further develop our services.”

Sarah Riddle commented: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with SAIC, but it was proving increasingly difficult to combine it with the success of Northern Light, which requires more of my energy to continue to grow. Having completed what I set out to at SAIC, the time felt right to take on the next challenge. I will no doubt continue to work with the SAIC team and look forward to seeing the innovation center develop in the years ahead.”

Ed Ley-Wilson added: “It is a very exciting time to join SAIC. The need for innovation has never been stronger, with the aquaculture sector poised for sustainable growth. Carbon mitigation, fish health and welfare, farming technologies, and feed sustainability are just some of the areas of focus I look forward to working on, building on the great work Sarah and her team have been delivering.”


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