Fishing and aquaculture need inventive people with the ability to solve problems more than ever before. In the face of many changes, societies need to think differently, work together and explore solutions to varied problems. Making a difference usually demands that a new product or process is not just developed but is used to deliver increased benefits. This is the process of innovation.
There are many ways innovation occurs, but all require different ways of thinking about the future and how we interact with it.
Doing things better
This involves ongoing small improvements to how business is conducted, usually by introducing new but well-understood advances. adoption and benefits are usually over shorter timescales.
Doing things differently
This involves a business’s capability to change the way it normally does things. It often means applying ideas or technology in new ways but takes longer to implement or see the benefits from.
Doing different things
This involves creating new things — or ways of doing them — in response to changes in the world and requires innovation and invention. Without knowing what is needed in the future, breaking new ground usually involves envisioning an outcome (be it a product or process) and being committed to achieving it. There may not be a preconceived plan and results may take years to emerge, but could change how businesses or communities operate.
Balancing FRDC’s investment
Much of the FRDC’s past investment has focused on ‘doing things better’. This is understandable because innovations in small steps usually solve problems for present-day problems. In contrast, investments seeking to change or disrupt how things are done (or do entirely new things) need different ways of thinking and problem solving. Although these are less likely to provide immediate pay-offs, they may come up with unexpected results.
Innovations that disrupt will continue to emerge, and their effects will be felt in fishing and aquaculture even if they are not actively sought. an example is the emergence of laboratory- cultured protein alternatives. Consequently, fishing and aquaculture sectors need to imagine and shape the future they would like to see by solving problems over variable timescales and using different approaches.
Over the life of this R&D Plan the FRDC will trial more effective ways to invest in:
- sharing ways of solving problems,
- exploring alternative solutions,
- using the results of R&D to foster longer-term, high-impact innovations that aim to generate new capabilities.
Investment in this enabling strategy aims to improve FRDC’s impact across all R&D Plan outcomes.
THE FUTURE: Spotting opportunities on the horizon
Using new technologies can improve or upgrade the efficiency of contemporary fishing. Drones instead of spotter aircraft can make aerial surveillance cheaper, easier and more accessible. The same technology can be applied to aquaculture to identify issues with ponds or disease outbreaks.