Sarah Riddle, SAIC director of business engagement

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has appointed Sarah Riddle as its new director of business engagement.

Sarah brings more than 17 years’ experience to the role, having previously worked at Scottish Sea Farms, and Aquascot.

In her work with Northern Light Consulting – which will continue alongside the new role with SAIC – Sarah has provided strategic support for organisations such as the Scottish Association of Marine Science, and has helped many businesses to secure funding and deliver innovation, research and development projects in the aquaculture sector.

As director of business engagement, Sarah will lead a programme to support the innovation centre’s £10 million Phase II strategy.

While SAIC’s plans for the next five years include a significant focus on engaging with SMEs to drive innovation, the organisation is also prioritising initiatives to support the Scottish aquaculture sector through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarah said: “I have worked in the industry for a number of years, and live in the Highlands with fish production on my doorstep, so this is a sector that I am truly fascinated by.

“Compared to other means of food production, aquaculture may still be in its infancy, but it has the power to feed the world. As with any farming operation, however, sustainability is paramount, and I’m excited to support innovative developments that can help to future-proof the sector.”  

Heather Jones, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre chief executive officer, said: “As well as bringing a wealth of experience to the role, Sarah has built meaningful relationships with key players in the sector, which will be invaluable in encouraging collaboration and innovation.”