Seaweed, or “macroalgae”, has long been recognised as a valuable source of diverse bioactive compounds and has great potential to be used in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and functional foods. However, until now, seaweed has been underexploited in Europe due to the challenges of expanding seaweed biomass production: costs need to be reduced, scales of production need to be increased, quality improved, and seaweed biomass needs to be successfully refined into multiple useful products. If these issues can be addressed, seaweed biomass production could become more economically and environmentally sustainable.
The Horizon 2020 Blue Growth project GENIALG is the first industry-driven project bringing together pioneering companies in large-scale integrated European biorefineries and experts in seaweed cultivation, genetics and metabolomics to boost the seaweed industry.
GENIALG will boost the Blue Biotechnology Economy in Europe by designing high yielding seaweed cultivation systems. GENIALG will increase the production and sustainable exploitation of two high-yielding species of European seaweed biomass: the brown alga Saccharina latissima (also known as Sugar Kelp) and the green alga Ulva spp. (often called Sea Lettuce).