A £200,000 grant scheme launched today (Thursday) will help seaweed researchers and industry work together to ensure sustainable growth in the industry.
The seaweed sector is one of the fastest growing in aquaculture but a lack of research globally has contributed to problems arising from crop disease and the adverse effects of introducing invasive species.
Launched last year, the £6m GlobalSeaweed STAR (GS STAR) project, led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland, aims to create greater sustainability in the industry.
The project connects the research capability of SAMS, Cefas, the Overseas Development Institute and the Natural History Museum in the UK with partners in seaweed-producing nations Tanzania, Indonesia and the Philippines. Almost 95 per cent of the world’s seaweed cultivation is carried out in developing nations.
In a bid to increase the connectivity and knowledge exchange between developed and developing nations, the project has announced the GS STAR Travel Fund, which will offer 100 grants of up to £2,000 to researchers or seaweed practitioners in the UK or developing nations (DAC-listed countries).
Principal investigator on the GS STAR project, Prof Elizabeth Cottier-Cook, said: “We are excited about the potential for collaborations in the seaweed industry across the globe. We can learn a lot from each other, and this sharing of knowledge and experience will help to ensure the sustainability of an industry on which millions of families rely for the livelihoods and prosperity.
“It is envisaged that the GS-STAR Travel Fund will enable rapid reactivity to emerging crises in the seaweed industry and foster further international cooperation between researchers and practitioners in this field.”
Applicants can seek financial assistance for attendance at national and international seaweed-related scientific conferences, meetings with collaborators, or capacity building activities aimed at increasing the sustainability of seaweed cultivation.
The first round of applications will close on Friday 15th June 2018 at 16:00 UK Time.
For more information and to find out how to apply, visit www.globalseaweed.org