54 investors, innovators, producers, and technical experts met in Lovund, Norway to attend. The island, home to Nova Sea AS, was well-equipped for the arrivals, with a newly expanded hotel, lodging for startups and accessible aquaculture facilities on display for guests, many of whom arrived from overseas to participate.
Connecting the dots
To highlight innovation within the industry, the event included site visits to salmon farms and feed facilities, cutting-edge technology demonstrations, lectures and roundtables on the future of sustainability, feed and nutrition, corporate partnerships and opportunities in the arctic.
The event was co-hosted by Olaisen Blue and BioFeyn. Olaisen Blue, bearing the long-recognised name of the Nova Sea owning Olaisen family, was established in 2021 and is the family’s new vehicle for startup investment. BioFeyn, a feed-focused American biotechnology company, is one of their inaugural investments and the winner of the 2022 NCE Aquaculture Innovation Award.
"Too many ocean startups overlook direct interactions with the ocean and people who work with the sea when developing new solutions. We want to enable entrepreneurs access to the local industry, so they can develop applied solutions with real impact," said Stine Svanevik, CEO of Olaisen Blue.
The industry´s biggest challenge
Need for rapid innovation in aquaculture feed was a pervasive theme throughout. Feed represents 40 to 75 percent of the cost and 80 percent of carbon emissions associated with salmon production.
"Feed is both a problem and opportunity for the industry. If you can figure out feed, you can figure out the fish, and unlock billions in value for everyone across the value chain," says Dr James Anderson, former head of aquaculture and fisheries, World Bank and BioFeyn advisor.
Innovation for the future
Innovators like BioFeyn are applying advanced technologies to enhance feed efficiency with the ultimate aim of reducing resource use, waste, carbon emissions and cost.
"I’ve worked in over 50 countries to improve the health of animals, people and the environment. The feed sourcing challenges of the salmon industry are similar to those of other farmed species – and the only real way to fix them is to 1) find more feed or 2) increase efficient use. The second option is the obvious choice for our world today and is why I’m so excited to be a part of the BioFeyn team," said Dr William Karesh, veterinarian, “One Health” founder, and BioFeyn investor.
Other innovators represented at the event included Probotic, a Norwegian technology company automating net maintenance with subsea drones, and Undersee, a Portuguese water quality monitoring company deploying sensor-based forecasting. Each of the startups have made significant advances since participating in the Olaisen Blue accelerator in Spring 2022. BioFeyn revealed successful results in live fish, Probotic announced a new patent, and Undersee secured key Norwegian partnerships.
A Big Tent
Participants joined from around the world bringing a diversity of expertise and perspective that elevated the dialogue for all in attendance. Key talks and interventions were delivered by:
- Salmon farms: NovaSea, Kvarøy, Helgeland Smolt
- Start-ups: BioFeyn, Probotic and UnderSee
- Feed and ingredient providers: Skretting, STIM/PolarFeed, Aker BioMarine
- Investors: Olaisen Blue, Hatch Blue, Katapult Ocean, Rabobank, Okeanos Capital, DNB, Faber Ventures, Investinor, CoFounder
- Regional partners: Innovation Norway, Kupa, Kystinkubatoren, LetSea