Algae projects win funding of € 700,000

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Fifteen seaweed aquaculture projects received funding of € 700,000 from the Safe Seaweed Coalition.

The coalition and its steering committee congratulated the winners and thanked the 71 candidates.

“Since the start of this adventure, security has been at the heart of the Safe Seaweed Coalition,” said Philippe Potin, scientific director of the coalition, from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). “This guided the call for proposals and the final selection of winners.”

Algae have great potential to help build a secure, sustainable and prosperous future. Recognized globally for their climate change mitigation potential, algae also have a role to play in securing global food systems, supporting ocean ecosystems and creating jobs with potential for economic growth.

Sugar kelp

© David Bailey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

“We are very proud of the projects selected,” said Vincent Doumeizel, representative of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), co-founders of the coalition. “They will help unleash the full potential of algae to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “

The funds provided by the coalition are intended to help improve safety in the global algae industry as the industry expands and the full potential of algae is released. The results of each coalition-funded project will be made public to maximize the global impact of the work, while partnering with stakeholders in the seaweed industry.

“The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is proud to be the founding partner of the Safe Seaweed Coalition. We look forward to increasing collaboration and new partnerships with all key stakeholders. We believe that our focus on algae safety, which must include a full consideration of operational and natural environments, will provide a safe and sustainable algae industry on a large scale that responds to the global and pressing challenges facing our world. It’s an exciting journey and we know we will be successful working together, ”said Tim Slingsby, Lloyd’s Register Foundation representative on the coalition’s steering committee.

The coalition is a global partnership established in March 2021 to support the safety and sustainability of the algae industry as it grows, along the algae value chain. The funded proposals relate to the coalition’s three areas of intervention in terms of security: consumer, environmental and operational. This call for proposals aimed to finance sector development projects to accelerate the growth of the algae industry, from cultivation to processing, including the development of new products.

The projects and organizations that received funding from the first call for proposals are listed below, along with a brief description of their intended objectives.

  • B’ZEOS AS, the Norwegian organization aspires to bring food-grade seaweed to commercial market packaging by tackling legal and regulatory barriers.
  • The Alfred Wegener Institute implements the SeaStrains workshop, a European-wide strategy to conserve marine algae genetic resources under threat of global change through a centralized biobank.
  • The Foundation for the Environment and Marine Resources at the University of the Philippines, seeks to select and maintain safe and healthy eucheumatoids for the continued health of the local algae industry.
  • Energy of the sea, Tanzania, an innovation in seaweed cultivation for women’s empowerment, working through Aqua-Farms to provide livelihoods for women amid the challenges presented by climate change.
  • The University of Malaysia in Malaysia creates a global taxonomic framework for the carrageenan industry for the benefit of biobanks, breeding and quality control.
  • The SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth aims to create a framework for the biosecurity of Baltic seaweed by creating environmental guidelines, recommendations and position papers dealing with the monitoring and authorization conditions for the cultivation of algae in the Baltic Sea.
  • The Kelp Forest Foundation examines the impact of kelp cultivation on biodiversity by using environmental DNA samples from kelp forests to monitor changes in biodiversity over time.
  • Notpla Limited, a company located in England, will create a pilot program for seaweed packaging while providing consumers with information on where and how the algae used in the biomaterial is produced.
  • Ningbo University provide technical training in seaweed cultivation and safe production through safety manuals, online courses and workshops for international training purposes.
  • Yunus Foundation in Thailand will develop a social business model for the safe and sustainable growth of the local seaweed industry.
  • Ocean farmers secures the sustainability and safety of the algae cultivation industry in Madagascar by collecting, cataloging and identifying superior cultivars for commercial production as well as a biosecurity policy.
  • Banco Español de Algas (BEA – Spanish Seaweed Bank) will create a reference collection of Macronesian algae to conserve the biological diversity of local algae and ocean life.
  • Seafood health products aims to introduce commercial scale kelp farming in Australia by developing hatchery techniques for the development of the local seaweed industry.
  • Southern University of Chile aspires to characterize and biobank pelillo pests and pathogens to develop tools that will aid in the management of biosecurity risks.
  • Aber Actives is developing an algae biorefinery using natural marine bacteria.

This call was the first round of multiple calls for proposals planned over three years to distribute £ 3million to research supporting algae safety and sustainability. The coalition and its steering committee invite applicants with diverse research and product interests to apply for grants in future calls.

The coalition is coordinated by the CNRS with the help of the strategic and financial partner Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the support of the United Nations Global Compact. For more information visit www.safeseaweedcoalition.org.

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