SAMS news room

SAMS and MARA Seaweed win sustained partnership of the year award

Edinburgh, 21st November 2014 -- SAMS and MARA Seaweed of Edinburgh have won an award recognising successful collaborations between businesses and Scottish research institutions.

The Sustained Partnership of the Year award is one of the Interface Excellence Awards 2014 and was presented by John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, at a ceremony in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on Thursday, November 20th.

Working in partnership with SAMS and Otter Ferry Seafish Ltd, MARA Seaweed has developed commercially viable tank-based seaweed cultivation. Seaweed is referred to as 'the superfood of the sea', and is the most highly mineralized vegetable on earth. Seasoning derived from seaweed is being used increasingly by chefs as an alternative to salt, for both its nutritional value and flavour.

The judges commended MARA Seaweed on their relationship with their partners, and on their combined efforts to secure increasing amounts of funding, underlining their mutual commitment to the partnership. It was also noted that it is sound business strategy to be investing in the cultivation of seaweed in controlled conditions and that this was the key innovation of this project.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Innovation plays a vital role in driving productivity and sustainable economic growth. Interface is a key partner in supporting businesses accessing knowledge from our fantastic research base.

“The Interface Excellence Awards highlight the outstanding contributions and successes of business and academic collaborations throughout Scotland. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their ingenuity, industry and creativity.”

MARA  Seaweed and partners overcame strong opposition from the other finalists in this category, React2 of Peebles which, in collaboration with Queen Margaret University, created interactive products to help people experiencing problems with speech and language as the result of a stroke, brain injury, learning difficulties or dementia, and Xanthella of Oban is working with the University of Strathclyde to produced photobioreactors for growing algae for use in biofuel production.

Dr Siobhán Jordan, director of Interface, added: “The Interface Excellence Awards celebrate the success of collaborations between SMEs and Scottish academia and recognise the efforts to grow their organisations and drive innovation across the marketplace.  Through individual projects and their continued contribution towards Knowledge Exchange the companies and their academic partners are making a real difference to the Scottish economy.”

For more information and winners of the other Interface excellence Awards, visit

Media enquiries should be made to Alistair McLean at Acumen PR on tel: 0131 661 7027 or by email to

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