Launching first large-scale organic seaweed-to-food cultivation and processing in EU
The SeaBest project will be the first to close the circle from seaweed spore to a high quality organic food product using a large-scale and cost-competitive approach in Europe. The project will allow 1,000-14,000t of seaweed to be produced in Europe at up to 56% less cost compared to current practises. Our project will satisfy the high unmet demand of the global market for cultivated organic seaweed worth €9.3bn and of the European organic food market worth €30 billion in 2015. For the first time ever, we will enable low-cost high-volume organic seaweed to be produced in Europe, fully traceable, foodgrade certified and ready for use as an ingredient on its own or in a multitude of products. We are already in talks with over 15 EU food producers and we have Letters of Intent documenting demand for over 3,200t just from 5 large clients who are awaiting the ability to purchase organic European seaweed on a large-scale - so that they can pursue catering to dominant global food outlets such as IKEA and Schouten. We have performed a Phase 1 Feasibility Study funded by Innovation Norway (VIDAN - 2014/104777) that validated our pilot plant at TRL 7 and commercial viability. Over €14 million has been invested in our unique and game-changing solution since 2009 including SEAWEED-STAR Eurostars (#6027) project that verified our offshore farming technology. We are part of the H2020-BG-2016-1 project GENIALG aiming to boost the EU Blue Biotechnology Economy (BBE) by increasing the sustainable production of EU seaweed. Phase 2 funding will allow us to reach full commercial viability through technology maturation, piloting and market maturation activities. SeaBest will generate 30 new FTEs within SES and another 36 in our production partners, and we estimate an accumulated €76.5m in revenues after 5 years. By mechanising seaweed farming and reducing production costs, SeaBest will also open the way to new markets in bioenergy, biopharmaceuticals and animal nutrition.