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13 juni 2014
Future Workshop: summary of findings

The principal aim of the Seafarm Future Workshop was to bring together stakeholders, partners and researchers, to share and discuss ideas or experiences in the cultivation, refining and uses of algae in Sweden. The participants were split into four groups to hold intimate discussions and the event was split into three parts: a problem identification phase, a creative sharing phase and a future-oriented planning phase. For a more detailed account of the workshop process, see the news update from the 24th of April: Brainstorming med klara ramar stakar ut vägen framåt. By the end of the workshop, each group had produced posters containing valuable input covering the four focus areas (FA) of the Seafarm supply chain: cultivation of macroalgae (FA1), storage & preservation (FA2), bio-refining (FA3) and energy production (FA4) aspects.

viability of the concept is likely to depend mostly on the products identified for the biorefinery in FA3 research, as well as careful supply chain development to minimize costs and overhead expenses.

There is a lot of hype surrounding algae research at the moment; it should be addressed strategically for the long-term good of the Swedish algae industry.

Locally adapted and genetically diverse specimens of S. latissima will be the most productive and resilient to cultivate. Furthermore, new cultivation technologies
are emerging that could reduce labor requirements, facilitate seeding and cut costs.

The provision of
ecosystem services should be understood and accounted for in research publications. From an environmental perspective, this is perhaps the greatest asset of the project.

are likely to be a complicated obstacle for further expansion of a West coast algae industry, due to aesthetics issues, competition with other water uses and a lack of a legal framework to certify coastal aquaculture. A promising way around the problem could be to support existing mussel and clam farms to diversify and embrace algae as a complimentary produce, thus transform their monocultures into IMTAs (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquacultures).

Market analysis should be conducted for the
phyco-products that could be produced at the biorefinery. This will be essential to assess the project’s short- and long-term sustainability.

algae potential (potential volume of cultivated algae) of the Swedish West coast should be estimated to assess the long-term potential and sustainability of this industry. 

Finally and perhaps most crucially, Seafarm researchers should
work together particularly between FA2 and FA3 to coordinate fraction stream processes and to avoid wasting resources by reinventing the wheel.  

The workshop results are being incorporated into short- and long-term management and research orientation strategies for the project. Jean-Baptiste Thomas, Mauricio Sodré Ribeiro, Fredrik Gröndahl and Maria Malmström are also working on a journal article, based in part on the results of the workshop. 

If you might be interested in participating in an upcoming Seafarm Future Workshop, please contact Jean-Baptiste Thomas - jbthomas@kth.se

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Seafarm | Global Network for Sustainable Development
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