Interreg Vlaanderen Nederland - Wier & Wind

Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland



Wier & wind project aims at developing a large-scale seaweed farm with automated cultivation system that can be deployed within the wind turbine park in the North Sea. The project is coordinated by AtSeaNova which involves private partners and public institutes: GEOxyz, Seaweed Harvest Nordsea, Murre Technologies, Noordzeeboerderij, UGent, HZ University of Applied Science. This project runs for 3 years (01/07/2019 – 30/06/2022).

Project description

Seaweed is a source of proteins, sugars and vitamins. The nature of seaweed production that does not require land, fresh water or fertilizers makes it a nutritious sustainable food resource. The global market size for seaweed is projected to increase in the coming years (CAGR of 9% according to FAO). Limited near-shore production locations makes offshore seaweed cultivation an option to meet the increasing demand. In the recent years, the government have been encouraging the idea of multiple use of space in the North Sea, which is reflected in the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). Several small-scale seaweed farmings have been initiated in the European coastal areas within the recent years. A large-scale seaweed cultivation in the offshore environment of North Sea, however, has not been explored yet. This will require a development of a seaweed cultivation system that can be deployed specifically within the wind turbine park in the North sea. Upscaling the production of seaweed per ha and its quality will be done by developing an automated machinery system for the cultivation. With the newly developed system, a pilot of seaweed farm will be deployed in a 2ha test site within the wind turbine park in the North Sea. The pilot will be tested for 2 growing seasons. The project thus contributes to the multiple use of space of in the wind turbine park.



•    Successful demonstration of large scale seaweed farming in a realistic environment
•    Increase quality and quantity of seaweeds as cultivated under offshore conditions   
•    Lower the cost per kg of seaweed by fully mechanizing all process steps


Role of Ghent University

Maritime Technology Division of Ghent University takes the role of performing mooring calculation for the design of offshore seaweed cultivation system provided by AtSeaNova. This involves the development of a numerical tool capable of simulating seaweed cultivation system under environmental load of waves and current. The outcome of this calculation translates into technical requirement of the anchoring system.


Dutch summary

In dit project willen bedrijven Seaweed Harvest Nordsea, AtSeaNova, Murre Technologies en GEOxyz de productie van zeewier significant verhogen. Het zeewiercollectief Stichting Noordzeeboerderij en kennisinstellingen UGent en HZ University of Applied Science zullen hen hierin ondersteunen. Gezamenlijk zullen de partners een grootschalig en geautomatiseerd zeewierteeltsysteem ontwikkelen dat betrouwbaar is op zee, en dat kan worden ingezet binnen de vele windmolenparken die de Noordzee rijk is. Het project draagt hiermee bij aan meervoudig ruimtegebruik van de windmolenparken.


French summary

Dans ce projet, les entreprises Seaweed Harvest Nordsea, AtSeaNova, Murre Technologies et GEOxyz souhaitent augmenter la production d'algues marines augmenter de manière significative. La société  Stichting Noordzeeboerderij qui rassemble le secteur de cultivation d’algues marines et les instituts de connaissance UGent et HZ University of Applied Science les y aideront. Ensemble, les partenaires développeront un système automatisé de culture d'algues marines à grande échelle, fiable en mer et utilisable dans les nombreux parcs éoliens de la mer du Nord. Le projet contribue ainsi à l'utilisation multiple de l'espace par les parcs éoliens.



WIer & Wind


Prof. Evert Lataire
Afdeling Maritieme Techniek
Phone number: +32 9 264 55 57