Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Info & Contact

At the NIOZ Seaweed Centre we investigate seaweed physiology and ecology, that is, how seaweeds function in their environment. We study seaweed growth, uptake of nutrients, their lifecycle and their role as crop in a nursery. Seaweed, or macroalgae, refers to several species of macroscopic, multicellular, marine algae.

Seaweeds are a potential alternative for landplant biomass. They grow on saltwater, which covers 70% of the surface of our planet. Not only can seaweed cultivation be combined with other activities at sea, it also takes up excess nutrients from coastal waters, thus reducing eutrophication. Seaweed is an attractive source of biomass. Seaweed does not use precious freshwater, nor does it make claims on farmland. Seaweed grows on available nutrients from the sea (it can even limit eutrophication), and it does not need pesticides during growth. This makes seaweed very suitable as a source of energy (sugars), food for human and / or animal (proteins) and high-quality components. As such, seaweed cultivation can make a significant contribution to the transition to a bio-based economy.


The Seaweed Centre consists of twenty cultivation tanks, especially designed for seaweed research. The fundamental scientific knowledge gained in the centre can be used for sustainable production of food and energy for the future.

We work closely together with University of Groningen (RUG) and institutions for applied research such as Wageningen Marine Research (WMR). We also intensively collaborate with Hortimare, the company that focuses on producing starting material for seaweed cultivation. The Seaweed Centre is part of the Dutch initiative to develop the seaweed chain. NIOZ is associated with the Noordzeeboerderij Foundation, which (amongst others) manages a test site for seaweed cultivation on the North Sea.

Contact & questions

Are you interested in the possibilities and expertise of the Seaweed Centre or do you just want to ask a question? Mail to Klaas Timmermans. In very urgent matters you can contact him by phone.