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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

KELP-EU: innovative, sector-leading seaweed biorefinery

Through an innovative seaweed biorefinery, KELP-EU wants to support seaweed farmers on the market and develop new seaweed-based products.



Contributing to people health and planet health by tapping into the benefits of seaweed has been the driver behind the development of KELP-EU project. Led by OCEANIUM Ltd, in Scotland, and co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the project addresses two of the main current challenges: provide healthy and nutritious food, and reduce the carbon footprint using circular approaches.

Through an innovative seaweed biorefinery, the project wants to support seaweed farmers on the market and develop new seaweed-based products. KELP-EU aims to kick-start the European seaweed industry and sustainable farming.

The project’s ambitions are to:

  • Develop a sustainably farmed EU seaweed industry and scale up their biorefinery processing up to a volume of 100 tonne a year;
  • Complete the developed design for the world-first sustainable seaweed biorefinery pilot plant with a processing capacity of 5000 tonnes a year;
  • Develop four new seaweed-based products relying on the sustainable use of the sea: kelp protein, fibre, fucoidan and beta-glucan;
  • Assess the life cycle for seaweed-based products and complete the impact assessment, including the social impact on coastal communities;
  • Develop and implement commercialisation strategies, refining business plan and protecting developed IP.

OCEANIUM Ltd’s CEO and co-founder, Karen Scofield Seal, says in an interview: “We are focusing on enabling the seaweed farming industry, to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for seaweed to play an important role in future food security and supply. Of course, as a zero-input crop – using no cleared land, fertiliser, pesticide or fresh water – seaweed has a lot to offer future food systems and can help to create the systemic change needed to face the global food challenge caused by drought conditions, extreme weather and soil erosion.”

OCEANIUM is working closely with seaweed farmers, research and government stakeholders all over Europe. Through a clean and green processing, they extract the maximum value from seaweed and develop nutritious food, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and bio-packaging material. The project is aligned with cross-cutting priorities of the EU Green Deal such as the Farm-to-Fork strategy and circular economy.

Operating in the blue bio-economy sector, KELP-EU shows innovative and viable solutions for the restoration of oceans, for the wellbeing of people through improved diets and livelihoods, and for the mitigation of climate change.

To know more about KELP-EU and their commitment to “kelp the world”, watch the project video and read their success story on DG MARE website.

Have also a look at their commitment on gender equality in this video.