Noord-Holland province is investing €300,000 into research about the economic opportunities seaweed can offer the area.
Demand for seaweed is rising worldwide: it can be used as food and also has applications for the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, sustainable chemicals and energy distribution sectors, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.
The province wants to determine how the region can attract investment and other economic activities related to seaweed. The research is being carried out by the Dutch energy research centre ECN, the royal institute for ocean research NIOZ and Wageningen university’s marine research unit WMR.
Noord-Holland’s position on the North and Wadden seas make the area ideal for pilot projects, the FD said. In addition, there are a number of companies and institutions which can contribute to seaweed ‘s potential.
The research project will take 18 months. Expectations related to seaweed and algae are high in the fisheries industry. The Dutch institute for applied research TNO is currently conducting experiments into algae which can produce protein for the foods industry, pigment for the coatings industry or fuel for cars.