North Sea Farmers focuses on innovative applications of seaweed



Cooperation between young seaweed sector and the province of South Holland emphasizes confidence in opportunities for regional development

The province of South Holland has announced that it will support North Sea Farmers (NSF) in the coming years as part of the Regional Networks for Innovation South Holland (RNIZ) subsidy scheme. North Sea Farmers, a sector organization and innovation cluster for European seaweed cultivation, will strengthen its organizing capacity and network with the support of the province and work towards a broad sector agenda. This offers opportunities for collaborations with companies and organizations in the region; not only for the use of seaweed in the food sector, but also in the biochemical industry, for bioplastics and medical applications.

Why European seaweed?

There is increasing interest in the local production of seaweed as a source of food and bio-raw material, from both business and government. The advantages of seaweed are that it does not require agricultural land and no fresh water. Valuable nutrients such as phosphates that flow into the sea via rivers can be collected again via seaweed.
Seaweed is already being harvested on a large scale in Asian countries, but not always on the basis of a sustainable and high-tech production method. The demand for seaweed for food in Europe will triple over the next 10 years to a market value of 2.8 billion euros. Locally grown seaweed can meet almost a quarter of that demand. North Sea Farmers is therefore building a highly innovative sector that can scale up quickly within wind farms and can supply sustainably cultivated seaweed for various applications.

Sustainable opportunities for the local economy

With the RNIZ subsidy scheme, the province and North Sea Farmers are looking for innovative applications of seaweed in, among other things, the biochemistry, medical sector and bioplastics, in collaboration with knowledge institutions in Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam.
The scheme also gives an impulse to attracting new industry and activity around the port of Scheveningen, working with the sea one way or another. This includes forms of sustainable fishing, offshore solar and tidal energy and monitoring systems for aquaculture. This in turn fits in seamlessly with the ambitions of the Municipality of The Hague and the Province of South Holland to stimulate sustainable collaboration initiatives with the Campus at Sea network.

Important boost for the seaweed sector

Bas de Leeuw, manager of North Sea Farmers, is pleased with the award: “With this new collaboration, the province shows that they feel the development of North Sea Farmers as a sector organization is promising: from pioneers to a hands-on, high-quality sector organization for seaweed cultivation, for food and non-food applications. The subsidy also benefits our more than 100 national and international members and with them the entire region of South Holland.” 

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For more information, images or questions regarding this press release:
North Sea Farmers
Contact: Femke Prins
T 06-41145470

Here you can find our press release in Dutch.