Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (Germany)

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (Germany)


The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the world´s leading research organisations in climate, marine and coastal ecology. AWI offers all the infrastructure, equipment and expertise needed for the development of fundamental and industrial research projects and beyond. The institute maintains a truly global research network with extensive cooperation with numerous national and international institutions, as well as transferring knowledge and technologies to society.


The Aquaculture Research Group at AWI conducts industry-led research for sustainable aquaculture. The group develops innovative, environmentally sustainable technological concepts in close cooperation with business partners (currently 14). The group has strong technical design and management expertise, along with highly valuable infrastructure related to Recirculating Aquaculture Systems.


The group has strong expertise and experience in integration of new species into new and existing aquaculture systems. In recognition of the importance of economic forces in bioeconomic success the group has gained significant experience in linking socio-economic and aquaculture research in several nations.


The Aquaculture Research Group maintains the Centre for Aquaculture Research (ZAF), one of Europe’s largest dedicated Recirculating Aquaculture System research facilities with 140 m3 of aquaria space for experiments in controlled-condition recirculating artificial seawater and freshwater. Currently held species include Litopenaeusvannamei(in biofloc and in RAS), Astacusastacus, A. leptodactylusDicentrarchuslabrax, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Moronesaxatilis x M. chrysops) Holothuriafoskali, H. scabra. The ZAF acts as a hub for technology transfer of new aquaculture concepts in Germany and internationally. The group’s partnerships with academia, industry and society are key to identifying environmental concerns and needs, developing solutions and bringing those solutions back to users rapidly. The group maintains its own wet and dry lab facilities plus optical laboratories. In addition, the biochemical, microbiological and genetic laboratories of the AWI are at the group’s disposal.

Partners / Researchers

Matthew James Slater

New Zealand PhD Degree in Marine Science, University of Auckland, NZL 2010, Head of Aquaculture Research, Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research. Dr Matt Slater has conducted IMTA and sustainability research worldwide. He is an expert in novel aquaculture system design and piloting.

In addition to his scientific expertise in biological systems and IMTA, Dr Slater has been involved in market studies, socio-economic and transdisciplinary research for many years. He now leads a team with significant experience in linking socio-economic research with technology transfer. CS member EU H2020 Project TRUE, PI of 16 International and national (industry-led) research projects. Author or co-author more than 40 peer-refereed scientific publications, and more than 30 conference presentations.

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Björn Suckow

Björn Suckow owns an MSc degree in Marine Environmental Science and has long experience in national (AQUZENTE) and international projects (CLEANHATCH) in the field of aquaculture and water management. He initiated and coordinated the “German Technology Network for Aquaculture” and the FP7-funded “EnviGuard” project. Björn Suckow is involved in the H2020 PrimeFish project and has experience in international R&D in the field of aquaculture technologies, market analyses, public relations work in the field of aquaculture; Experience in integrated aquaculture systems and nutrient recycling through soil filters/detritivores in RAS.

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