Seaweed production which; does not compete with agricultural land, its ability to remove elevated levels of nitrogen from estuaries and coastal waters; and the EC’s Blue Growth strategy (COM(2012) 494), which aims to increase the EU’s current seaweed production global market share from 7.5% to meet the $17.6 billion predicted 2021 global market value, make it an ideal input substrate for farm4more’s green biorefinery.
Seaweed once harvested needs to be immediately preserved due to the rapid microbial decomposition that occurs. Farm4more proposes to implement a novel seaweed ensiling process to offset the high GHG costs associated with current preservation techniques (drying). The ensiled seaweed will be assessed for both its climate mitigating impact and its potential to act as an alternative green biorefinery – feedstock.
Bantry Marine Research Station Ltd (BMRS) is a privately owned marine biotechnology company focused on delivery of marine bio-based products and processes. BMRS was incorporated in 2016 following a restructuring of Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station Ltd (DOMMRS) which began its operations in 2005. Prior to that, it was in operation since 1991 as the University College Cork’s Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Centre. The facility has demonstrated its research and project delivery capability over two decades.
The main activities at the research station can be organised into research and production activities. The main research efforts are in micro- and macroalgal cultivation, and the extraction and quantification of bioactive compounds, Earth Observation, GIS and oceanographic research to improve products and services such as forecasting, aquaculture site selection etc., and fish disease trials. The main production activities are in the on-growing of cleaner fish, sea urchin hatchery and on-growing, and the commercial cultivation of macroalgae at sea.
BMRS activities have grown steadily and includes consultancy, commercial trials, as well as co-ordination and participation in several international and national projects that are funded by the European Commission initiatives such as Framework 7 (2007 to 2013) and Horizon 2020 (2014 to 2020), as well as INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme (funded by the European Regional Development Fund).