On September 15 and 16 the tenth edition of Seagriculture took place in an online format. The virtual event presented a diverse line up of speakers and introduced new features to the annual macroalgae gathering, including the Seaweed Quiz, the European Union — Seagriculture Algae Innovation Awards, and a special USA night session focusing on seaweed activities in the United States.
More than 25 speakers from 11 countries shared their knowledge, expertise and, above all, passion for seaweed farming — a topic that has become a hot button in the algae industry. Beyond the technical aspects of seaweed farming, speakers also focused on such aspects as ecosystems, marketing, supply chains, sustainability, and future developments.
With over 180 registrations, this edition of Seagriculture was the best attended event so far, demonstrating the growth in the seaweed community and that seaweed professionals are interested in a platform such as Seagriculture to share experiences and connect with other professionals in the industry. Attendees appeared from 27 countries, overcoming worldwide time zone constraints.
On September 16 Felix Leinemann, Head of Unit Blue Economy Sectors, presented the European Union — Seagriculture Algae Innovation Awards to:
- Green Technology Research Institute/CPC Corporation, Taiwan — Gold
- The Blue Future, Spain — Silver, and
- Rhodomaxx SDN BHD, Malaysia — Bronze and Audience Award.
Of the 16 innovations submitted, only 40% were from Europe, demonstrating the international character of the seaweed industry.
Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy requires investing in innovative technologies. Whether this is in wave or tidal energy, algae production, development of inventive fishing gear or restoration of marine ecosystems, the objective is to create new green jobs and businesses in the blue economy.
By funding the Seagriculture Innovation Awards, the European Commission has reinforced its commitment to a sustainable blue economy. This annual event offers entrepreneurs and academia the ability to contribute to this transformation by highlighting their innovative services and products that can make a positive impact to a blue economy.
Furthering this international momentum, Dana Eidsness, director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO) at Maine International Trade Center (MITC) announced that the first Seagriculture USA event will be held September 7-8, 2022, in Portland, Maine.
As one of the primary places for seaweed farming in the USA, the choice of Portland is a natural for the organizers of Seagriculture USA 2022. The event is being sponsored by MITC and MENADO along with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and Maine Technology Institute (MTI).
The European edition of Seagriculture next year will be held on June 29-30, 2022 in Bremerhaven, Germany, and is being supported by Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH. By presenting two annual editions of Seagriculture, the organizers believe that they can better serve the growing seaweed community, not only in Europe but now also in North America.
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