SINTEF granted 2.6 million euro for industrial seaweed cultivation
IBNN member SINTEF receives EUR 2.6 million (NOK 24 million) from the Norwegian Research Council to establish an interdisciplinary knowledge platform for industrial cultivation of macroalgae.
“The potential of algae cultivation is huge,” says the Research Council to NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (read the article here). “Algae can be used as raw materials in feed, food products, as source of bioenergy, and in industrial products which today are based on fossil fuels.”
“SINTEF’s application has received very high score in the evaluation made by an international expert panel, says the the research council's Executive director for Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment, Fridtjof Unander. “We have great expectations for the results of this project.“
Building a knowledge platform
By combining scientific excellence with industrial relevance, SINTEF’s new project MACROSEA will target successful and predictable production of high quality biomass. The project will provide Norway with important tools, enabling the country to take key steps towards a cost-effective industrial cultivation of macroalgae.
The projects primary objective is to establish an interdisciplinary knowledge platform on fundamental production biology and technology for cultivation, over a wide range of climatic, ecological and physical regimes.
Other objectives are; to increase the principal knowledge on biological performance and environmental requirements for optimized chemical composition and biomass production. It is also to obtain technological specifications and to develop generic models and simulation tools for farm systems and biomass production.
Both the brown kelps S. latissima and A. esculenta, and the red P. palmate, will be studied as promising candidates of industrial relevance for cultivation in Norway.
International research collaboration
The project is a collaboration between several research partners, both in Norway and internationally, in addition to industry partners.
National research partners
- SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture – Project leader
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU
- University of Oslo
- University of Bergen
- UiT The Arctic University of Norway
- Akvaplan Niva
- Norwegian Institute for Water Research
International research partners
- Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- The Scottish Association for Marine Science
- Aarhus University, AlgeCenter Denmark
- Clarkson University
- Austevoll Seaweed Farm
- Folla Alger
- Ocean Forest
- PE Reefs
- Seaweed AS
- Seaweed Energy Solutions
Figure: The project MACROSEA envisages an interdisciplinary knowledge platform on fundamental macroalgae production biology and technology, to make significant steps towards industrial cultivation in Norway.
Picture above, right: Cultivation of sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) Photo: SINTEF