Seaweed and Wind

01 July 2019 → 31 December 2022
European funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Hydrodynamics
    • Hydrostatics
    • Marine engineering not elsewehere classified
aquaculture seaweed
Project description


Wier & wind project aims at developing a large-scale seaweed farm with automated cultivation system that can be deployed within the wind turbine park in the North Sea. The project is coordinated by AtSeaNova which involves private partners and public institutes: GEOxyz, Seaweed Harvest Nordsea, Murre Technologies, Noordzeeboerderij, UGent, HZ University of Applied Science. This project runs for 3 years (01/07/2019 – 30/06/2022).

Project description

Seaweed is a source of proteins, sugars and vitamins. The nature of seaweed production that does not require land, fresh water or fertilizers makes it a nutritious sustainable food resource. The global market size for seaweed is projected to increase in the coming years (CAGR of 9% according to FAO). Limited near-shore production locations makes offshore seaweed cultivation an option to meet the increasing demand. In the recent years, the government have been encouraging the idea of multiple use of space in the North Sea, which is reflected in the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). Several small-scale seaweed farmings have been initiated in the European coastal areas within the recent years. A large-scale seaweed cultivation in the offshore environment of North Sea, however, has not been explored yet. This will require a development of a seaweed cultivation system that can be deployed specifically within the wind turbine park in the North sea. Upscaling the production of seaweed per ha and its quality will be done by developing an automated machinery system for the cultivation. With the newly developed system, a pilot of seaweed farm will be deployed in a 2ha test site within the wind turbine park in the North Sea. The pilot will be tested for 2 growing seasons. The project thus contributes to the multiple use of space of in the wind turbine park.