The South Coast NSW Seaweed Innovation Hub aims to establish a new seaweed industry in the region.
Sea Health Products is a local company that produces a unique range of all-natural health and wellbeing kelp products harvested from the South Coast of New South Wales. They currently use hand-harvesting methods that are inherently unreliable and significantly limit the industry’s future growth. The company proposes to expand a seaweed hatchery and open-ocean kelp farming, to supply the biomass required to fast track product developments and activate new markets.
We know regional communities, infrastructure business cases and the aquaculture sector
Our team was engaged by Sea Health Products to develop a detailed business case to help determine the feasibility of the proposal, and prepare a funding application to the Regional Investment Activation Fund (RIAF) against a non-negotiable grant funding deadline.
We drew on our extensive experience developing business cases for large infrastructure projects, sustainable aquaculture, and regional activation projects, and leveraged comprehensive understanding of the regional development goals and expectations of the local, state and federal governments.
To help develop the business case to support a grant application to fund the planned expansion, we conducted detailed research and facilitated two participatory workshops. Additionally, we provided strategic advice and peer review of supporting documents such as the Business Plan.
I really enjoyed working with Bec and Ben, I felt they had a great handle of what was required and appreciated the extra effort they went to, not only meeting the deadline, exceeding my expectations in the quality of the work produced
A hub of opportunity for the local community and biodiversity
The business case provided evidence that the Hub will unlock significant economic, environmental, and social benefits.
The project will establish a Seaweed Hub, which will promote collaboration between researchers, existing and new businesses and the community. The kelp hatchery will be expanded, ocean kelp farming trials conducted and the kelp processing facility upgraded. The additional biomass produced can be used for a range of applications including food, nutraceuticals, bioplastics and high value bioextracts. This will create approximately 50 new high-quality operational jobs and support local Indigenous businesses that may scale their enterprise using the opportunity that this project provides.
Furthermore, the project will improve life below the water by restoring kelp forests, providing habitat for other marine organisms and maintaining a clean ocean by extracting nutrients including phosphates and nitrogen from waterways. This initiative will also have a positive impact on the environment by improving food security and supporting local businesses.
This project highlights the importance of research partnerships and industry engagement in developing sustainable solutions that create new markets, drive innovation and benefit society and the environment.
The grant application for the South Coast Innovative Seaweed Hub project won’t be determined until June 2023.