The Scottish Association for Marine Science has co-founded a company to develop off-the-shelf seaweed farms following its key role in a ground-breaking European project.
AT~SEA Technologies has been formed by the Oban-based SAMS alongside seven other organisations that made up the EU project AT~SEA and are now shareholders of AT~SEA Technologies.
This project, which started in 2012, aimed to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of seaweed cultivation in Europe and developed seaweed cultivation ‘sheets’ that increased the surface area for growing and allowed for greater mechanisation in this modern industry.
The company’s specially-designed sheets (known as 2D seaweed cultivation substrates) form part of the product offered by AT~SEA Technologies, which will specialise in industry start-ups.
Seaweed is seen as an important source for future supply of food and feed (additives), biochemical, biomaterials and bioenergy.
Dr Adam Hughes, senior lecturer in sustainable aquaculture at SAMS, and AT~SEA member, said, "Seaweed is such an important source for food supply and biofuels, yet Europe is far behind other continents in terms of developing the industry. By offering these off-the-shelf farms, along with the knowledge required to sustain a business, AT~SEA Technologies can help countries throughout Europe grow the industry in a sustainable way."
Story source: SAMS news release, 8 Jun 2015