Preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency.

The project in numbers
30 months
Start date: 01.10.17
End date: 31.03.20
N. Partner: 5
Budget FERS:

The project in numbers

30 months
Start / End: 
01.10.17 to 31.03.20
Project progress: 
Budget FERS: 


To promote the development of a green agri-food industry through the introduction of the aquaponics
Priority Axis 3

Protecting and promoting natural and cultural resources

Specific Objective: 
OS 3.3.
Investment Priority: 
PI 6f
Overall Objective of the Project: 

BLUEGRASS aims to introduce and develop aquaponics within the Program area. Aquaponics is a sustainable production technique that reflects the principles of green growth and the circular economy. In particular, this technique allows for vegetables to be produced through the recycling of the waste products deriving from aquaculture practices, for a reduction in water consumption of up to 90%.

Project summary: 

Aquaponics is an integrated production system that, based on the circular economy principles and industrial symbiosis methods, provides for a reduction in the environmental impact of the agri-food sector. This technique involves the cultivation of vegetables without the use of land, and with a decrease in water consumption of up to 90% with respect to traditional farming practices, by recycling organic wastewater from fish farms. The aquaponics offers the following advantages: (1) it doesn’t require the use of fertilisers, as it uses nutrients derived from fish farming; (2) it limits the use of land, since the plants do not need to compete for the nutrients; (3) it doesn’t require the use of pesticides, as these substances are not compatible with fish farming; (4) it reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as it doesn’t require the use of agricultural equipment. Based on these characteristics, aquaponics is considered a green technology, and its introduction within the INTERREG program area will represent a real development opportunity for the agri-food sector, creating new job opportunities. BLUEGRASS aims to promote and support the development of aquaponics within the area covered by the Program. The project entails the following activities: (1) the performance of a market analysis to identify the specific territorial needs in terms of demand; (2) the implementation and testing of 2 pilot plants (one in Slovenia and one in Italy); (3) The engagement of the stakeholders, including farmers, breeders and researchers (4) The raising of consumer awareness by conducting teaching and demonstration activities. To this end a consortium of 5 members has been established, consisting of two universities (the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, in Italy, and the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia), one public administration (UTI del Noncello, Italy), and two cooperatives with expertise in the aquaculture sector (SHORELINE, Italy) and in the agricultural sector (KZ-AGRARIA, Slovenia).

Main results: 

BLUEGRASS will build 2 pilot aquaponics systems within the area covered by the Program. This output will ensure that the program area has 2 plant prototypes capable of exploiting this innovative green technology, which allows for vegetables to be produced through the recycling of the waste products deriving from aquaculture practices, for a reduction in water consumption of up to 90%.
BLUEGRASS will create a network of farmers and fish farmers who are interested in expanding their businesses by experimenting with this new technology. Consumer awareness of the sustainability of aquaponics products will be raised through educational activities, thus stimulating new market opportunities. BLUEGRASS will also stimulate the development of new professional figures, who will have the expertise necessary to manage aquaponics systems.


Lead Partner

Università Ca' Foscari Venezia


Project partner 1

Univerza v Ljubljani


Project partner 2

Unione Territoriale Intercomunale del Noncello


Project partner 3

KZ Agraria Koper


Project partner 4

Shoreline Società Cooperativa



Poster evento annuale 30/05/2018Poster evento annuale 30/05/2018
( 576 bytes, published on 11 June, 2018 - 17:53 )
Newsletter di progetto Gennaio 2019Newsletter di progetto Gennaio 2019
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Objectives and Activities


BLUEGRASS aims at promoting, through the introduction of aquaponics, the development in the programme area of green and innovative production technologies, based on circular economy and industrial symbiosis principles. The project has the following specific objectives: (1) evaluating interest and territorial needs of aquaponic products, by means of a market analysis; (2) testing the functioning of 2 aquaponic pilot systems; (3) engage farmers, fish farmers and researchers; (4) increase the awareness of consumers by carrying out education and demonstration activities.


Within the first year of work the BLUEGRASS team carried out a market analysis on aquaponic products, by involving approximately 300 among consumers and producers in Italy and Slovenia. In parallel, two aquaponic working groups were set up, and met last July 2018 to review and discuss the results of the analysis, and to provide recommendations for the implementation of the two pilot aquaponic systems. The two systems were set up during 2018 at the two companies KZ-Agraria (Koper-Purissima) and Agroittica Friulana (Palse di Porcia, Pordenone). The opening ceremonies took place respectively last November 12, and December 8 2018. 

Newsletter # 1:

Newsletter # 2:

Project video 1:

Project video 2:


Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

0039 0412348337
Dorsoduro 3246, 30123 Venezia, Italia
Brigolin Daniele

Univerza v Ljubljani

00386 (0) 12418532
Kongresni trg 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Andrej Udovč

Unione Territoriale Intercomunale del Noncello

0039 0434392566
Vittorio Emanuele 64, 33170 Pordenone, Italia

KZ Agraria Koper

00386 (0) 56630700
Ulica 15. maja 17, 6000 Koper, Slovenija
Pirnat Patrizia

Shoreline Società Cooperativa

0039 0403755700
Località Padriciano (c/o AREA Science Park) 99, 34149 Trieste, Italia
Francese Marco