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Asparagopis producer lands place on Swiss accelerator

Climate change Blue carbon Seaweed / Macroalgae +4 more

Australian Asaparagopsis company SeaStock has been selected to participate in the MassChallenge Switzerland 2023 accelerator programme.

Seastock founder Tom Puddy

SeaStock, which produces the methane-reducing seaweed in Western Australia, is one of 112 startups selected for the accelerator from over 1,200 applicants across the globe. Managing director and co-founder Tom Puddy said it was a huge honour for the company to be recognised on a global scale for its innovative seaweed production method and to have the opportunity to work with the programme’s industry partners.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to reach a global audience and to share our business journey with global industry players and to do so at a key stage of our journey as a startup. We are part of an emerging industry that is focused on methane reduction across the global agriculture sector and in identifying and patenting methods of extracting high value compounds from seaweed and algae that are sustainable and that have application across a range of industries," he said.

“The interest in our industry is growing exponentially year on year and we are at the forefront in terms of the science behind cultivating and extracting high value compounds from seaweed and algae and commericalising the supply of those products to end users globally," he added.

Critical Mass

Mass Challenge Switzerland partners Buhler Group, Givaudan, Nestle, DSM, Louis Dreyfus Company and Sudzucker promote the challenge with the aim of identifying startups or scaleups with proven solutions or technology in the areas of sustainable food and feeding solutions, sustainable supply chain and manufacturing, sustainable packaging and agritech.

Shortlisted companies are given a direct pathway to multi-national corporations to explore ways to collaborate with them and to assist them to scale their technology. Judging criteria for the challenge focus on a company’s ability to impact emissions reduction targets and to be both viable commercially and scalable.

Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland has been a leader in helping startups across Europe and beyond grow their businesses. To date, 610 MassChallenge Switzerland alumni have raised more than CHF 985M (AUD $1.6B) in funding and created value for both economies and societies around the world.

Pioneering production

SeaStock commenced operations in September 2021 in Western Australia with the aim of identifying high value natural compounds derived from native seaweeds in Western Australian waters.

The company was the first in Western Australia to be licensed by Future Feed, which holds the global IP for the use of Asparagopsis seaweed as a livestock feed ingredient that has been shown to lower methane emissions in ruminant livestock by 80 percent or more.

There are currently only five Future Feed licensees in Australia/New Zealand and only nine globally.

SeaStock currently has a multi-year collaboration agreement with the Marine Research team at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, to generate IP related to the extraction of seaweed-based compounds and to ensure a commercially optimised outcome is achieved.

The company’s cultivation method has the potential to be replicated globally and generate the natural bromoform feed supplement that can be used across the dairy and beef industries globally.

SeaStock has also filed for a patent for a novel method to cultivate and replicate the reproductive lifecycle stages of Asparagopsis taxiformis seaweed.

The company completed its first commercial harvest at the Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton Western Australia in November 2022 and established a corporate headquarters and pilot plant facility in Fremantle Western Australia earlier this year and is currently engaged in conducting feasibility studies for a fully operational commercial plant in regional Western Australia in 2024.

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