Training schools

HomeOur ScienceTraining schools

About Training Schools

COST Training Schools aim at widening, broadening and sharing knowledge relevant to the Action’s objectives through the delivery of intensive training on a new and emerging subject. From three days to two weeks long, these workshops give young scientists a focused and multi-disciplinary platform to access the highest level of expertise from leaders in their field. COST Action FA1305 organised seven training schools.

Training School 1: Aquaponic Trials

The first training school of the Action, on Aquaponic trials: improving water quality and plant production through fish management and diet, was hosted by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from 25-29 May 2015.

The five day training school consisted of a combination of lectures and practical classes on the principles of aquaculture in aquaponic systems. Participants were introduced to the current commercial problems of aquaponics, and the importance of good fish management and fish feed in order to achieve optimum water quality for hydroponic plant cultivation. Topics included fish diets, the nutritional content of aquaponic feeds, and alternative sustainable ingredients, in relation to large-and small-scale aquaponic systems as well as those suitable for urban contexts. The course was attended by trainees from the Czech Republic, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. For more information see the Aquaponic Trials training school report

Below you can find a film from the Training School on the EU Aquaponics Hub YouTube channel.

Training School 2: Essential Aquaponics

The second training school of the Action, on Essential Aquaponics, was hosted by the University of Ljubljana from 15-19 June 2015.

The training school consisted of a number of lectures and practical classes on the key principles of aquaponic systems and aquaponic food production. Trainees were introduced to the historical background of aquaponics and the various types of aquaponic systems currently operating around the world. Topics included aquaponic system configurations, practical calculations of aquaponic system units, the suitability of different fish and plant species, and pest and disease management, as well as economic considerations in aquaponic system design and operation. The course was attended by trainees from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. For more information see the Essential Aquaponics training school report.

Below, you can find a playlist of ten films from the Training School on the EU Aquaponics Hub YouTube channel.

Training School 3: Commercial Aquaponics

The third training school of the Action, on Commercial Aquaponics: How to develop a business opportunity, was hosted by the University of Iceland from 9-12 September 2015.

The four day training school consisted of a combination of lectures and practical classes on the principles of business models for aquaponics. Participants were introduced to the current state-of-the-art in aquaponics, commercial systems in the USA and commercial systems being established in Europe. Topics included basics in economics and economic models and methodologies to develop business plans for aquaponics based on different assumptions. Aquaponics business challenges was also introduced and the class worked on their own business cases. Moreover, sustainability aspects were discussed as well as how a circular economy can be applied in business cases. Large vs small-scale aquaponic systems and high tech vs low tech aquaponics were compared, and the concept of urban aquaponics was introduced. The course was attended by trainees from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. For more information see the Commercial Aquaponics training school report

Below, you can find a playlist of ten films from the Training School on the EU Aquaponics Hub YouTube channel

Training School 4: Microbial roles and dynamics in aquaponics

The fourth training school of the Action, on Microbia-ponics: Microbial roles and dynamics in aquaponics, was hosted by the University of Liège, Belgium, from 25–28 April 2016.

The training school consisted of a series of lectures and practical classes on the basic knowledge needed to understand aquaponic systems, the principles of diagnosing pathogenic and beneficial micro-organisms, techniques for characterizing microbial communities, and their role regarding plants, water and solid waste in aquaponic environments. Trainees learned how to identify causal agents of plant diseases, how to successfully diagnose diseases, and how to choose control methods compatible with aquaponics. The course was attended by trainees from Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the UK. For more information see the microbia-ponics-training-school-report.

Below, you can find a playlist of eight films from the Training School on the EU Aquaponics Hub YouTube channel

Training School 5: Modelling

The fifth training school of the Action, on Modelling nutrients, energy and growth in aquaponic systems, was hosted by University College Cork, Ireland, from 24-27 April 2017.

The four day training school introduced modelling theory and showed how existing models can be used and adapted to balance fish waste with plant requirements in aquaponic systems.  Practical sessions gave the trainees an opportunity to get hands on computer experience with some of the models. The course was attended by trainees from the Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and the UK. For more information see the UCC COST Modelling Training School Final Report.

Training School 6: Design, maintenance and risk management

The sixth training school of the Action, on Design, maintenance and risk management of aquaponics systems: Animal-plant production and fish processing, was hosted by LEGTPA Lozère, France, from 24-28 April 2017.

The course consisted of a mixture of theoretical classes, practical classes and field visits, and covered the following topics: introduction to aquaponics; choice and analysis of production equipment; aquaponics system design, risk management and equipment monitoring; and monitoring and maintenance of an aquaponics unit. The course was attended by trainees from Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and the UK. For more information see the Design maintenance and risk management training school report

Training School 7: Aquaponics – ergonomics and economics

The seventh and final training school, on Aquaponics – ergonomics and economics, was hosted by AquaBioTech, Malta, on 30 October – 2 November 2017.

Ergonomics covers the best possible layout and setup of different parts of both systems with maximum functionality and productivity in mind. The integration of aquaponics to existing aquaculture facilities requires basic design considerations when adapting an existing aquaculture system to facilitate plant production.  An overview was provided of the economics of various aquaculture systems at different scales, and the necessary considerations when preparing business plans and designs. Besides attending lectures, participants had the chance to see ergonomics in action in the various RAS units of the company. They also visited one of the hydroponics farms in Malta where they had an open discussion about farm design and tried to implement the training on site by analysing the existing layout and trying to improve it. The course was attended by trainees from Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey, and the UK. For more information see COST Training school Malta-Final report