I am happy to receive this year´s prestigous Seagriculture Innovation Award for the project “Off-Shore Ulva“.
Within the framework of Seagriculture EU 2022, a jury incorporating international seaweed experts from academia and industry selected 3 nominees which offered the most innovative product, service or invention in seaweed aquaculture. In total 3 Innovation Awards were presented by the jury, gold, silver, and bronze and it is an honour that our project Off-Shore Ulva received the gold price. Congratulations to the silver and bronze winners Alexander Ebbing and Rhianna Rees whose seaweed projects are not only future oriented but also super interesting. You can read about all projects here.
Innovation Off-Shore-Ulva: The growing world population demands an increase in sustainable resources. A crucial basis to reach this goal is the opening of new farm grounds and the cultivation of extractive species, such as sea lettuce, on industrial level, aiming to provide renewable biomass for food and non-food applications. The potential for European large-scale oceanic farming of the commercial green seaweed crop Ulva was until lately not yet fully realized due to the lack of suitable methodology and problematics in controlling the life-cycle of Ulva. We were able to develop the technology of full-life cycle aquaculture of the Northern Hemisphere crop Ulva fenestrata and established a solid basis for its industrial off-shore cultivation. The project “Off-Shore-Ulva” established a sound technology to transfer the cultivation of native European Ulva strains, which was
until date mainly performed on- or near-shore, into the ocean. Using this newly established methodology and expanding the cultivation of Ulva into the ocean and thus opening new farm grounds brings several advantages to the emerging European seaweed industry and offers a sustainable way for large-scale biomass production. E.g. the needed on-shore facilities are reduced to a minimum, which results in a more sustainable way of farming high-value biomass. By biochemical
profiling we determined the applicability and safety of the produced biomass and established a circular crop species for the European seaweed market. All techniques are publicly available since it is our believe that the European aquaculture sector, but more importantly also our ecosystems, largely benefit from sound cultivation protocols.