Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is Denmark’s oldest and largest research and technology organization, which develop, apply, and disseminate research- and technologically-based knowledge for the Danish and International business sectors. DTI coordinates and manages the MAB4 project, and contributes to all parts of the project except the cultivation of biomass. The demonstration and feed trials in MAB 4 (WP4) will be led by DTI.
DTI has over the past 5-7 years worked with macroalgae and biorefinery projects, and the MAB4 project builds upon this body of knowledge. DTI expects the MAB4 project to provide a clear pathway to commercial final products, and answer key questions in regards to the economic and ecologic feasibility of macroalgae cultivation and biorefinery. DTI will facilitate the basic research conducted by the university partners with the commercial needs of the SME and industry partners, while promoting the Blue Growth initiative (COM(2014) 254 final/2).
Aarhus University (AU) is the second largest university in Denmark and carries out research and teaching and deliver research-based and independent consultancy to the public and private sector especially regarding environmental issues. AU-BIOS is partner in AlgaeCenter Denmark, a platform for R&D, consultancy and dissemination of basic and applied aspects of macro-algae cultivation and utilisation.
In MAB4 AU-BIOS will be responsible for cultivation of seaweed (WP 1) contributing with state-of the art knowledge on Danish macroalgae cultivation and access to both landbased and coastal cultivation facilities. AU-BIOS has expertise in the cultivation, distribution, ecophysiology and genetic diversity of macroalgae and optimizing yields and biochemical composition of cultivated macroalgae strains, are core fields of expertise built up by AU-BIOS. AU-BIOS has the ambition of securing the environmental as well as economicalsustainability of an industrially driven cultivation of macroalgae in Denmark. AU-BIOS expect with MAB4 to initiate selective breeding of Danish Laminaria strains with focus on high yields of biomass and high value products, and to advance the cultivation technology under Danish conditions, with focus on cultivation systems, mechanization, and optimization between strains and environmental conditions, moving cultivation from protected into more open coastal areas. AU-BIOS expect MAB4 to define and remove legislative, environmental and technological barriers for industrial macroalgae production at a national and European level.
AU-ENVS has core competences in integrated systems modelling of sustainable resource flows across the human and natural ecosystems. AU-ENVS participates in several international and national projects on whole value chain assessments of the use of marine resources and ecosystem services for marine biobased production systems. In MAB4 AU-ENVS will lead and primarily work with feasibility and identification of barriers in algae industry (WP 5), and support the techno-economic and sustainability assessment of the supply chain of macroalgae resources and products, including socioeconomic measures. AU-ENVS has core competences in integrated systems modelling of sustainable resource flows across the human and natural ecosystems, and sustainability assessment of macroalgae cultivation is a core research field for AU-ENVS.
AU-ENVS will contribute to the setup of an integrated model assessment framework focusing on the valuation of biobased products and services, on quantitative measures of the impact services provided the use of emissions as resources for macroalgae growth by circular regenerative businesses and on decision support for policy instruments supportive for the development of regenerative circular blue economy business models of high socioeconomic value. The model will valorise the biosorption of emission by macroalgae, which represents a transition from linear open loop to closed loop production systems. Transforming the macroalgae feedstock via a biorefinery process into high value products creates a resilient biobased production system characterized by circular closed loop resource flows and ecosystem health preservation.
University of Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest university. Department of Large Animal Sciences (KU-ANIM) will be responsible for the tasks related to validation of the value of Macro Algae biproducts as ingredients in diets for growing pigs.
KU-ANIM is the home for CPH Pig, which is a world leading center in the research of pig production and health, with a strong research tradition in feed quality evaluation, sustainable animal nutrition, production health and disease of farm animals. CPH Pig possesses all the research infrastructure, technical expertise and pig industry agreements needed in this project to determine in vitro (enzymatic digestion) and in vivo (digestibility trials) digestibilities of energy, protein and dietary ingredients from macroalgae, to determine dietary intakes and quantitative utilization of dietary energy and protein in growing animals and to conduct on-farm feeding trials with growing pigs. The obtained results will provide the basis for evaluation of the feeding value and potentials for the inclusion and use of macroalgae products in commercial feeding of pigs. Macroalgae provide an interesting avenue into sustainable nutrition that warrants further study. The obtained results will provide the basis for evaluation of the feeding value and potentials for the inclusion and use of macroalgae products in commercial feeding of pigs.
DTU-KT (University) has expertise in design of hydrolysis (incl. discovery and design), extraction, modification and recovery of biomass components from plants and seaweeds. In MAB4 DTU-KT will lead the Food and Feed Ingredients workpackage (WP 2) and develop methods for mild extraction of hydrocolloids and sugar polymers (viz alginate and fucoidans) from brown algae, including design of improved integrated value cascading processes, hydrolysis, extraction, separation and recovery. DTU-KT also delivers extracts of relevance for the development of food ingredients and food supplements and contributes to knowledge dissemination and technology exploitation.
Biorefinery – creating biobased products from biomass feedstock is a core research area for DTU-KT. The MAB4 project will extend the research for DTU-KT into the very promising marine biomass conversion. Design of new and improved biological conversion processes for upgrade of biomass with high potentials for food and feed ingredients has our main research interest. Macroalgae is here extremely interesting and promising. This project will allow us to develop our design of biological processes even further and at the same time we will hereby contribute to the development of a new and very promising type of biorefineries, the blue biorefinery with macroalgae as feed stock. We expect to provide new biocatalytic conversion concepts for seaweed processing in relation to hydrocolloids extraction for valorization of seaweed components for food and feed ingredients: mild extraction and recovery processes for cost conscious conversion of brown macroalgae, incl biocatalytic conversion concepts, carried out under ambient temperature and pressure, leaving the active molecules intact; hereby contributing to development of new commercially viable seaweed biorefinery.
DTU-Aqua is an Institute under DTU with expertise in cultivation of marine organisms including seaweed. DTU AQUA will primarily work in WP 1 i.e. industrial macroalgae production. DTU AQUA has participated and is currently involved in several projects focused on macroalgae, aquaculture and ecology. This line of research will be followed within MAB4.
From the accomplishment from WP 1, DTU Aqua expects to start developing a breeding program for 1 to 2 brown seaweed species. The aim of this program will be to select the optimal macroalgae strains for aquaculture in different environments. Over all, within this project DTU Aqua expects to gain knowledge and implement the current macroalgae aquaculture techniques, both under hatchery and field conditions for the selected macroalgae species. The primary aims in this respect will be improving the current macroalgae yields in diverse substrates and automatizing parts of the cultivating process, in order to optimize cost efficiency. As well, it is expected that MAB 4 open the discussion and bring some clarity over the legal status of macroalgae wild harvesting, aquaculture and requirements for human consumption, animal consumption and diverse industrial uses. Finally, from the results of the entire project and focus in WP5, we expect to generate and updated and realistic overview of the present and future possibilities for macroalgae cultivation in Denmark; considering the studied species, current status of technologies and the legal status for cultivation and commercialization of macroalgae in Denmark.
DTU Food is an Institute under DTU with expertise in food and feed ingredients, extraction technologies and chemical characterization. In MAB4 DTU Food will primarily work with extraction and purification of antioxidants and investigation of their efficacy as antioxidants in skin care products (WP 3). In addition, DTU Food will investigate the emulsifying and antioxidative properties of polysaccharides in model emulsions (WP2).
DTU Food’s research group on “Bioactives – analysis and applications” has defined the following research areas as key topics in its strategy: 1. Optimization of the content of bioactive compounds in algae biomass and exploitation of the algae biomass for feed and food. This topic also includes research on extraction with focus on obtaining multistreams, i.e. a biorefinery concept, 2. Development of new algae based antioxidants to protect lipids against oxidation. Hence, the current project fits very well with the strategy of the research group. Furthermore, DTU Food has profound expertise in the breeding of algae, extraction of polyphenols, glycoproteins and pigments. One postdoc will be employed by DTU Food for the project. We expect that the project will give DTU Food the opportunity to establish new and lasting collaborations with both academic and industrial partners with an interest in seaweed, which could be of high value for all parties also after the project has ended. We expect that the collaboration will result in establishment of a biorefinery concept for seaweed, which could not have been achieved by the partners on an individual basis.
ORF is a small company (SME) located in the Faroe Islands engaged in the production of marine biomass from macroalgae in open ocean cultivation installations. ORF has designed a seaweed installation, Macro Algae Cultivation Rig (MACR), which is suited for the harsh conditions of the open ocean and has been in situ since March 2010, which gives ORF several years’ experience in cultivation and commercial utilization of algae. ORF cultivation installation for seaweeds on the open ocean is an important step to move this maritime resource away from a hunter-gathering style of procurement and into the realm of true aquaculture. In MAB4 ORF will primarily participate in macroalgae cultivation and harvesting (WP 1), demonstration of biorefinery products (WP 4), techno-economic analysis (WP 5), knowledge dissemination and technology exploitation (WP 6) and exploitation management (WP 7).
ORF is keen on demonstrating the Macro Algae Cultivation Rig (MACR) in Danish Waters. MACR has proved its survivability during the last five years at an exposed offshore site at the Faroe Islands. In addition, cultivation at MACR has produced growth rates and harvesting yield among the highest in Europe. ORF will employ a Danish PhD student from DTU to optimize breeding and cultivation strategies. The MAB4 project will bring together these partners, and unite them in tackling existing challenges. ORF aims to provide a stable source of marine biomass for food, feed, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and energy products. ORF’s expectation is that the knowledge obtained in MAB4 will support the ongoing development of the company, with focus on commercial and intermediate products originated from macroalgae from cultivation. ORF aims to become a leading supplier of sustainable cultivated macroalgae in open ocean environments.
FermentationExperts is a Danish SME producing feed from renewable bioresources incl. seaweed. FEX will contribute to fermentation to feed products (WP 2) and fermentation of algal sugars and byproducts recovery (WP 4).
FEX has worked on utilizing macroalgae as pig feed through an ensiling process, which has the potential to reduce the use of antibiotics in the stables, thereby fulfilling a core Danish research objective. The MAB4 project will investigate the active compounds in macroalgae, and could unlock this potential. Our expectations to the project are commercial final products based on macroalgae biorefinery.
AT~SEA Technologies is a Belgian based SME that stems from the FP7 project AT~SEA (2012 – 2015). This successful research project targeted the development of advanced textiles as seaweed cultivation substrates. AT~SEA Technologies will participate in cultivation of seaweed (WP 1).
AST will commercialize turnkey seaweed farms all around the world, first focusing on Scandinavia. As such, AST is highly motivated to participate in MAB4 in order to further develop breeding strategies for commercially interesting macroalgae, and cultivation substrates for macroalgae (i.e. for different types of seaweeds, with high yields per m2, and to mechanize the seeding and harvesting steps) in Denmark, this in strong collaboration with Danish experts. AST has all knowledge in house to be successful by means of its founding partners SIOEN Industries and Hortimare. AT~SEA Technologies expects that MAB4 will strongly advance the state of the art in seaweed cultivation and in seaweed biorefinery processes, thus resulting in the further development (technically and commercially) of this high potential sector.
Kattegatcentret (KAT) is a large, Danish aquarium with more than 250 species of marine animals. KAT is on a daily basis working with dissemination and communication to the broad public. KAT works with research, innovation and communication in e.g. AlgaeCentre Denmark together with Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience (AU-BIOS) and Danish Technological Institute (DTI). KAT will participate in WP 6 as WP-leader.
Dissemination of research and innovation related to the sea is a main purpose of the KAT and as part of the MAB4 project; we will be able to share innovation and research in the project in newsletters to stakeholders etc. and to the 130.000 pupils, students and families visiting the KAT each year. KAT has cultivated a large stakeholder network, which it will draw upon when performing its primary objective within the MAB4 project – to create a lasting stakeholder platform. Possibilities to work on pipeline dissemination in accordance with building website, holding conferences, workshops, stakeholder platforms, sending newsletters etc. to not only researchers and stakeholders, but also pupils, students and families and thereby maximizing the influences of MAB4.
BHJ (Industry) is a privately owned company. BHJ’s business activities take place in two subdivisions: BHJ Ingredients and BHJ Meat and by-products. Hoejmark Group A/S is BHJ’s strategic marine development centre representing BHJ A/S in the MAB4 project. Hoejmark Group covers techniques as extraction, process plant and laboratory analysis. In MAB4 BHJ will be responsible for formulation of algal protein to final feed products, including chemical analysis and feasibility studies for the feeding. Specifically, BHJ will take part in extraction and purification of algae for value-added nutrients – minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, proteins (WP2) and formulate of final food ingredients for the health care sector and food sector (WP 4).
BHJ Ingredients is manufacturing ingredients and flavors, mainly for the food industry based on animal raw materials and blends of animal raw materials and stabilizers, including carrageenan, alginate etc. Over time BHJ has specialized in utilizing new resources of animal protein and developed these into high functional ingredients for the food and feed industries and specialized in protein-rich primarily animal-based products for manufacture of pet food, mink feed and aqua culture. BHJ has its own internal R&D lab, including a pilot plant that can simulate most processes for handling and refining of animal-based proteins. BHJ aim to develop new algae food ingredients for the market. BHJ expects to introduce nutrients, antioxidants, minerals and protein in special final algae products, and the MAB4 project will assist BHJ in discovering the potential for new food ingredients based on macroalgae, thereby realizing these goals.
Mellisa has expertise in the development, production, and sales of organic certified cosmetics, using natural ingredients. This commercial and practical knowhow will complement the scientific and technical expertise of the other project partners in determining if macroalgae cultivated in Denmark can be utilized by the Danish ecological cosmetics industry.
Mellisa’s motivation for participating in the MAB4 project is primarily because we want to explore if the macroalgae exhibit the following attributes suitable for cosmetic production: Is alginate suitable to emulsify a cosmetic product, in a similar fashion to the usage of alginate in food production as a replacement for gelatin? Is there a health benefit to exchange gelatin with alginate? Can alginate obtain a viscosity of approximately 4000 mPas, compared to the viscosity of water of 100 to 400 mPaS? Will proteins from macroalgae be able to penetrate deeply into the skin and revitalize it? Is there a high enough lipid content to restore and strengthen the skins natural barriers? Can components from macroalgae activate the collagen and elastin synthesis? Our main expectation to the project is documentation on the effect of macroalgae in cosmetics. If the macroalgae are able to fulfill some or all the above mentioned goals MELL is interested in producing 3 distinct products utilizing locally sourced macroalgae, to the benefit of consumers in Denmark and abroad.
Nordisk Tang by Endelave Seaweed is engaged in a great variety of activities where the DNA is seaweed. Our dedicated aim is to explore and exploit the fantastic benefits of seaweed not only from a consumption perspective, but also from a environmentally sustainable perspective. Currently NT is experiencing an enormous attention and at the same time growth and our demand for seaweed is constantly increasing. In MAB4 NT will primarily participate in cultivation of seaweed (WP 1), where NT will be the Danish anchor SME testing and integrating state of the art knowledge on seaweed cultivation into best practice into the Grenaa cultivation site. The work includes the responsibility for macroalgae cultivation and harvesting, as well as maintenance of seaweed cultivation systems.
NT sees an increasing market need for large quantities of locally produced Danish seaweed for a wide range of products. We want to develop seaweed cultivation in Denmark in order to be leading in Denmark supporting this emerging industry, supplying technological knowledge as well as seaweed biomass. With this project we expect to develop seaweed cultivation in the local sea around Grenå, taking a step towards tailoring cultivation technology to more exposed coastal waters in Denmark.
The Dutch company Hortimare has a team of researchers/technicians working on breeding and propagation of kelps and other seaweeds at our laboratory at Texel. We keep gametophyte clones and mixed cultures from all over Europe. Hortimare aims to develop the seaweed chain in a sustainable way, and only uses locally derived specimen for the propagation of seaweeds for our customers.
Hortimare will participate in cultivation of macroalgae (WP 1), being the main supplier of seaweed plantlets/juveniles. Local strains of Saccharina latissima will be assessed for high protein contents and uniform breeds/selections made, assisted by molecular techniques. Hortimare’s core business is propagation and breeding of seaweeds. We believe seaweed cultivation will develop to large scale farms and Denmark has the right conditions for that. Hortimare would like to stay in close contact with seaweed farmers in Denmark to be able to serve them with the best suitable varieties for their need. Seaweed processing is the most important shackle of the value chain of seaweeds. Dedicated processing technology and lowering the costs and efficiency of those and in the whole production chain is a precondition for the future development of this chain. Hortimare would like to introduce commercial varieties for the Danish market directly after the project.