Oddgeir Auklend won the main prize at Innovation UiA recently.

University of Agder student Oddgeir Auklend won an innovation award for his idea of how to automate feeding of farmed fish.

“I can’t believe my idea was the best of so many great ideas,” says Auklend with a smile.

The young student and entrepreneur from Jæren holds a Bachelor in Mechatronics from the University of Agder. He has always been interested in building things, and in examining things to figure out how they work and are constructed. The 25-year-old aims to be a product developer by the end of his studies, creating useful tools for the fish farming industry and other industries.

“I got into a conversation with a friend of the family last summer. He works in aquaculture and told me that the industry has a great desire to reduce waste of feed. That’s how I got the idea to use equipment and installations within or outside the cages, which detect when the fish have had enough to eat and automatically ends feeding,” says Auklend.

Feeding of farmed fish is a manual process, controlled by an operator watching a screen. Thus, feeding is not optimized. The result is that the industry loses huge sums of money on excess feeding.

“Automation of the feeding process will reduce costs and improve the local environment around the plants,” says Auklend.

He is now working on a master thesis in Mechatronics at the University of Agder, in which he utilized an ROV to inspect fish farms. His big goal is to start his own company. The Innovation Award includes NOK 30 000 which provides an opportunity to start work on a prototype.

“I feel very privileged and excited to be able to develop this idea. I obviously plan to sell my product to all fish farmers along the Norwegian coast and perhaps even globally,” says Auklend.

He was selected for the Innovation Award based on an evaluation from a jury comprised of Anne-Grete Ellingsen (GCE NODE), Gunnar Kulia (Eyde Cluster), Asle Pedersen (Innoventus South) and Eirik Kaaby (DNB).

Silje Helle, Harald Johnsen, Martine Alvestad and Tonje Olsen Haga were among the final five groups that got to present their idea to the jury.

April 18th 2024

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