The NIOZ Seaweed Research Centre investigates sustainable seaweed cultivation for food, feed and energy. We work in close cooperation with the Dutch companies Hortimare and Waddenwier.
With an ever-growing human population, land space for agriculture is becoming increasingly scarce, while at the same time global demand for food, feed and energy is rising.
Seas and oceans occupy more than 70% of the earth’s surface, and would be ideal for increased crop production when this can be done in a sustainable manner. Several seaweed species seem very promising for cultivation as they belong to the most rapidly growing plants on earth and, growing in the sea, do not need fertiliser or pesticides.
After biorefinement, products such as proteins, amino acids and sugars extracted from seaweed can be a profitable source for human and animal food. They can also be used in bodycare products and as raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. The remainder of the biomass could serve as biofuel.
NIOZ has set up a Seaweed Research Centre on the Dutch Wadden Sea island Texel. In cooperation with the Dutch companies Hortimare and Waddenwier, we investigate which seaweed species perform best, which factors enhance or inhibit the growth of seaweed and what the ecological consequences could be of seaweed cultivation.
The Seaweed Research Centre was opened by HM King Willem Alexander in April 2014.
With Waddenwier, we also work on a project to investigate biological fertilization of seaweeds and the possibility of cultivation in a double dike system on the coast of Groningen and Texel. In this way, seaweed could be grown biologically on land.
For more information about the Seaweed Research Centre, please contact prof. dr. Klaas Timmermans.