At Sea Turnkey farm

20 November, 2015

AT~SEA Technologies As coordinator, Sioen played a key role in the innovative, European ‘AT~SEA’-research project (2012-2015). Recently, a commercial spin-off of the project was launched. Sioen joined forces with 6 other European partners in a joint venture, called ‘AT~SEA Technologies’.

The other collaborators in the project are Ocean Harvest (IRL), Tecnored (ES), Devan Chemicals (BE), Hortimare (NL), Eurofilet (FR) and J2M (BE). The seaweed farm was founded earlier this month in Solund, Norway. Sioen develops the advanced technical textile, on which the seaweed is cultivated on a large scale. The purpose of this first test farm is to optimize the used technology.

In 2017, ‘AT~SEA Technologies’ will start selling turnkey seaweed farms. Before the joint venture offers the farms to the market, they will increase the cultivation of the seaweed systematically. In the recently started season 2015-16, ‘AT~SEA Technologies’ wants to harvest 1 ha. In the winter season 2016-17, they aim for 4 ha.

After this testing phase, the farms will be sold. Many companies already showed interest. Advanced technical textile ‘AT~SEA Technologies’ grows young seaweed plants on large strips of advanced technical textile. The plants are kept at a depth of 2m beneath the sea surface until they reach 1-2 meters in length. In spring, the seaweed will be harvested for further processing.

Seaweed, a versatile product with a future Seaweed is a versatile product with numerous possibilities. Today it is often used in the food industry (e.g. as thickening agents in yoghurt and ice cream), in animal food and in cosmetics and personal care products. It’s also used in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry. In the future, seaweed will become increasingly important. Emerging, new fields of application are: biomaterials, biochemistry and bioenergy.

Green and innovative The ‘AT~SEA’ research project and its spin-off ‘AT~SEA Technologies’ receive a lot of attention in Europe and the rest of the world. This year, the ‘AT~SEA’ project won the prestigious international ‘Techtextil’ innovation prize. Sioen Industries is very proud of having played a key role in the project. The innovative and green character of the ‘AT~SEA Technologies’-project fits perfectly with the company’s philosophy.