An innovative project involving the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) could see seaweed being used as a supplement in animal feed.
The project, known as FeedMe, is a collaboration between SAMS and Davidson Brothers (Shotts) Limited. Research will focus on the viability of an innovative pre-treatment process of seaweeds to produce a nutritional and sustainable supplement for feed products; biomass will also be a by-product.
Grant funding of around £50,000 has come from Interface Food & Drink’s legacy competition, which has also pledged £38,000 to another industry–academic project that seeks to test the innovative application of pyrolysis in converting waste plastic in the farming industry.
Helen Pratt, Project Manager at Interface Food & Drink, said: “Working together, business and academics can push ahead with really ground-breaking innovations which enhance the sustainability of the businesses in all senses of the word, and help the evolution of the dream of a circular economy into reality.
“These two projects, which will be the last funded through an Interface Food & Drink competition, stood out as not only having the potential to make a real difference to the individual businesses involved, but also to the wider industry, not only in their own competitive sectors but to primary production as a whole. The sustainability factor of both projects appealed greatly to the judges.”
Dr Michele Stanley, who is leading the project for SAMS, said: ““Our work with seaweed covers a variety of applications, from food to biofuels, and I am delighted that Davidson Bros Ltd and Interface have recognised the potential of this work.
“Grants that support research-industry projects such as FeedMe encourage innovation and allow both parties to find mutually beneficial solutions.”
Gary Dow, company accountant, of Davidsons Animal Feeds, said: “Our aim has always been to provide our customers with value for money products that are high performance in their use for livestock production. By collaborating with experts from SAMS we hope to introduce a new, sustainable feedstock into our ingredients while maintaining the quality and high nutritional values our customers expect.”
Interface Food & Drink is funded by Scottish Funding Council and was set up with the aim of promoting partnerships between businesses and academics to drive innovation through knowledge exchange, collaboration and funding.