Blog post by Annelise Chapman



Seaweed sex, chemical defense mechanisms of the sugar kelp and how seaweeds may be integrated in sustainable value chains, were among the many subjects discussed during a PROMAC workshop entitled ‘Seaweeds for Dummies’ which took place on May 25 at Møreforsking Ålesund.

Following an initiative from PROMAC partners who are experts in economics and logistics, but know little about seaweeds as organisms and their potential uses, Møreforsking Ålesund researchers Annelise Chapman and Pierrick Stévant hosted the workshop, which was also attended by some of our industry partners.

“A useful, interesting and constructive day“, was the general verdict, and the event may be a model for a similar workshop with focus on value chains and logistics in the fall – or: ‘Dummy no more’!









Blog post by Annelise Chapman

Photo: Annelise Chapman & Erlend Indergård


This year’s harvest of sugar kelp – Saccharina latissima – has started at the SINTEF cultivation site on Hitra. The biomass is going to be used in a number of PROMAC experiments, including the drying tests. Here, we assess the effects of drying at several temperatures and to varying remaining moisture contents.


Researchers from SINTEF and Møreforsking are executing the experiments, while various other partners will be involved in the analyses (components, sensory analysis and feeding).

The second batch of spring sugar kelp biomass harvested on Hitra, and stored in seawater for a few days. Erlend  seems pleased. The plants are not large, but in fine shape and without any visible fouling.




Marte removes the stilk before the kelp sheets are spread out for drying.


Per Egil explains the tricks with spreading the kelps carefully….

Per Egil_tørking

… and Erlend does the quality control



All hands on deck – spreading the sugar kelps on the drying trays. Doing this carefully will improve the result.


Also the project manager gets a chance to work with ‘the real thing’


The new ‘Mercedes’ dryer from Germany – it needs some talking to before it’s working properly….but then it’s effective! The 40 degree batch seems almost ready, but where the sheets are in several layers, they need some more time to be completely dry (defined here as 10% remaining moisture).



The final product – top quality and delicious!

tørket produkt

Blog post by Annelise Chapman


Communicating research and project results beyond an academic community is important for scientists in PROMAC.

“The project is highly relevant for the development of new seaweed-related economies in Norway, and we owe the public who is funding us to know what our research is all about”, says project manager Annelise Chapman in Møreforsking.

“Especially young people will be important in carrying new discoveries towards technical innovation in the future. Therefore it is important to involve children and students and communicate well with them right from the start”.

Students from Spjelkavik High School in Ålesund have studied the PROMAC project during their course on ‘Research and Technology’. PROMAC as a prime example of a large international research project is helping them to understand how research in Norway works in practice – from getting the funding to implementing the results towards innovation. The fact that PROMAC connects interesting marine organisms – seaweeds – with exciting marine biotechnology in the student’s ’immediate neighbourhood is a big plus.

In addition to studying the project in the classroom, the students joined PROMAC researchers Annelise Chapman and Pierrick Stevant in the field and lab, where they were introduced to kelps and other seaweeds in both fresh and dry condition.

290416 Tueneset

Students from Spjelkavik High School get to know the main seaweed species in the field at Tueneset and are introduced to the lab experiments of Møreforsking at Atlanterhavsparken, Ålesund, 29.04.2016


The rainy weather did not compromise the student’s enthusiasm and curiosity! A second highlight awaited the group with a visit at Taford Kraftvarme’s waste incinerator. The company is a PROMAC partner because the excess heat produced during the summer months may be highly relevant for drying seaweeds at commercial scales.

“I had no idea that a waste burner could be so technically advanced!, was one of the comments from the amazed group.

In conclusion of their project, the students will now carry out interviews with some of the PROMAC scientists to be used in the project’s communication.

In other words: A win-win for all!!

290416 Tafjord

A guided tour of Tafjord Kraftvarme’s waste incinerator is always an exciting new experience. Knut Arve Tafjord explains the company’s strategy, societal responsibilities and why they are engaged in the PROMAC project.

After a very stormy and unusually warm winter, the seaweed is now growing on CEVAs cultivation site. Several species of brown seaweed have been tested for growth this year (Laminaria Saccharina / Laminaria Ochroleuca / Alaria Esculenta and Laminaria Digitata).


The spores were directly seeded on lines between September and December 2015. The growth has been very slow starting this year, due probably to sever fooling on the lines. The first sampling took place this week (data not yet available) and a first harvest of Alaria was done for the project PROMAC, much to the delight of Helen and her team.




Yesterday (26th of April 2016) was a huge day for the PROMAC participants! Researchers from SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture and Materials and Chemistry joined forces in order to run the very first pilot production of Palmaria Palmata. SINTEF FAs pilot production unit, Mobile SeaLab, was used to run the production right outside our facilities in Trondheim. A hydrolysis experiment was carried out using fresh-frozen Palmaria harvested by our collagues at NIBIO (huge thanks to WP1 !) and two high value (good looking) fractions were produced. The experiment went very well and we are prouded to of being a part of the macroalgae adventure.

Enjoy the pictures below!

Erlend’s first time running the pilot production plant – he is really looking forward to it!



Inga Marie (WP3-leader), Ingrid and Rasa, ready for some macroalgae action!


Palmaria Palmata harvested by NIBIO outside Bodø


Our hard-working researchers

P1010875 P1010879   P1010930


Liters and liters of water soluble proteins from Palamaria Palmata ready to be shipped to NMBU and our WP4-leader Åshild who is going to run the feeding trials.


Water-soluble proteins from Palmaria Palmata. Looks very similiar to a strawberry milkshake 🙂


The unsoluble fraction produced from Palmaria Palmata


During the Open Day we asked some of our invited speakers on their views on seaweeds as food and the necessary research for developing an industry i Norway based on utilization of seaweeds. Enjoy the video!




The day is finaly here! Today we are gather in Trondheim for the 1st Annual PROMAC Open Day. Today’s topic is Seaweeds – Tomorrow’s Sustainable Superfoods. Almost 80 persons from 7 different countries is attending the seminar and we are looking forward to a day with interesting presentation, discussions and networking.

Project Manager Dr. Annelise Chapman opened the seminar with an introduction to the PROMAC project, its goals and the road ahead. Because of the International Woman’s Day she also honoured all the women working with seaweed throughout the world, as well as the number of women in the PROMAC project.



Dr Brijesh Tiwari from the TEAGASC Food Research Center in Ireland spoke of “Novel processing technologies for seaweed for human application” – giving us an overview of which types of technolgies are being used and developed for utilization of seaweed.

An important issue when utilizing seaweed for food and feed are the aspects related to unwanted components present in the raw material. Solbjørg Hogstad from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Arne Duinker from the National Institute of Nutrition adn Seafood Research (NIFES) introduced us to the aspects related to safety and seaweed and the work being carried out regarding legislations.




Assistant Processor Susan Holdt at DTU – Technical University in Denmark and Walter Möller, director at Remis Algen GmbH in Germany introduced us to the many valuable components that can be extracted from seaweed and how they can be utilized commercialy. Remis Algen GmbH have developed tasty burgers and sausages containing seaweed. You can read more about the products here.

Susan Løvstad Holdt1Walter Möller1

Last month the whole PROMAC project team was gathered in Trondheim for a roadmap workshop – where are we now and where do we go from here?

Katja Hansen (EPEA) and Torger Børresen (TabCon) were our facilitators for the day and lead us through different activities during the day where the goal in the end was to set up a roadmap for the project period (2015 – 2018) and life after PROMAC. A fun day with interesting group work and discussions.


 Katja Hansen (EPEA) teaching us the importance of using time developing a project roadmap.



Torger Børresen (TabCon) – one of our facilitators and advisory board members, together with our project manager, Annelise Chapman.


Researchers Bjørn Tore Nystrand (Møreforsking), Rasa Slizyte and Jorunn Skjermo (both SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture) enjoying the group work


Researcher and PhD-student Pierrick Stévant and Research Manager Liv Guri Velle (both Møreforsking)



The PROMAC project team




Foto: Kristin Straumsheim Grønli

Pierrick Stévant, 30 år,  fullførte sin mastergrad i marinbiologi og akvakultur ved Univeristetet i Montpellier i 2008.Og flyttet for første gang til Norge i 2009. Her jobbet han med produksjon av levendefôr ved Havbruksstasjonen i Tromsø. Deretter flyttet han til Brasil (Ilha Grande, RJ) og jobbet med algedyrking (Kappaphycus alvarezii). Etter et halvt år i Brasil gikk ferden nok en gang videre til Norge, denne gangen til Bodø hvor han jobbet i Bioforsk med oppbygging av deres laboratorium for algedyrking. Da samboeren fikk jobb i Ålesund flyttet Pierrick etter og begynte i 2013 i Møreforsking AS. Der jobber han i faggruppen for ressurser og fangst, og har blant annet jobbet med det RFF finansierte prosjektet “Alger – Sunn mat fra kysten (ALSMAK)”. I tillegg til PROMAC har han også jobbet med IMTA (Integrert MultiTrofisk Akvakultur) og med tørketeknologi. Da PROMAC ble innvilget i 2015 var det derfor naturlig at Pierrick ble innstilt som PhD-kandidat i prosjektet. PhD-oppgaven er 3-årig, finansiert av Sparebanken Møre og NTNU og har tittelen “Processing of Seaweed for food applications”. Oppgaven vil omhandle primær prosessering av makroalger som modning og tørking, samt videre prosessering; eks enzymatisk hydrolyse for produksjon av proteiner. Siden oppgaven er veiledet både fra NTNU, Møreforsking og Universitetet i Nantes vil mye av arbeidet foregå både i Trondheim, Ålesund og i Frankrike, og Pierrick er glad for å kunne dra nytte av erfaringen fra alle fagmiljøene.

På fritiden er Pierrick nylig blitt småbarnsfar og derfor går naturlig nok mye av hans fritid med til dette, men han er i tillegg svært interessert i fotografering og noe av hans arbeid kan du se her:



Pierrick, 30 years old, completed his master thesis in marine biology and aquaculture at the University of Montpellier in 2008 and moved to Norway for the first time in 2009. Back then he worked at “Havbruksstasjonen” in Tromsø, where he mainly worked with live feed. He then moved to Brazil where he started working with cultivation of Kappahycus alvarezii. After 6 months in Brazil he moved back to Norway, this time to Bodø and Bioforsk where he was a part of the team building labs for cultivation of macroalgae. In 2013, Pierrick started his career in Møreforsking where he works with marine resources and harvesting. His main activities has been on macroalgae and food, through the RFF funded project ALSMAK – “Alger – sunn mat fra kysten”, but he has also worked with IMTA and drying technology. Pierrick was assigned as a PhD-student in the PROMAC project were the work will be carried out in collaboration with Møreforsking, NTNU and the University of Nantes.  The PhD thesis has the title “Processing of Seaweed for food applications”. It is a 3 year-PhD financed by Sparebanken Møre and NTNU. The phd will treat primary processing of macroalgae, such as maturation and drying (WP 2 and 3), and enzymatic hydrolysis for production of proteins (WP 3).

After work Pierrick enjoys his newborn child and most of his time is spent with family, but he is also a skilled photographer and some of his work you can see here:

Read the first PROMAC newsletter here.