An ICF Mostra film crew went out to sea near Galway, Ireland, to find out how researchers are taking seaweed farming to a new dimension.
The video, for the EU’s flagship research and innovation online magazine Horizon, shows how high-tech textiles are being used to dramatically increase the amount of seaweed grown, meaning it could be used as a biofuel or to make bio-plastics.
Seaweed is normally grown on underwater ropes, but researchers from the AT~SEA research project are experimenting with textures and surfaces that will produce much higher yields, and hope to grow 20 kilograms of seaweed per square metre. The textiles could eventually be used to make large-scale seaweed farms off the European coast.
The ICF Mostra team talked to Bert Groenendaal, coordinator of the EU-funded AT~SEA project and fellow researcher Guy Buyle, from project partner Centexbel. The crew also visited the textile factory in Poperinge, Belgium, where the textiles are produced.
AT~SEA is a three-year research project funded by the European Commission. It started in April 2012 and runs until July 2015.
Horizon magazine, produced by ICF Mostra, is the flagship magazine of the Directorate-General for research and innovation of the European Commission. Horizon aims to promote Europe-wide what the EU is doing/supporting in research and development, and communicate the added value of this ‘European’ dimension in a journalistic way; to create a visible platform to showcase EU-funded projects in the field; to encourage specialised and mainstream media to view the magazine as a ‘go-to’ source of news-worthy material. The online magazine is targeting experts, but accessible equally to the public too. This is a brand new ‘niche’ product with no existing model and that increased its readership four-fold in 10 months.