Propagating Seaweed for a Sustainable Future

AT~SEA - Project Closed


This is an FP7-project with that will run from 2012 up till and including 2015.

The exact details of the project can be found on this page:


Start Date: 1st of April 2012

End Date: 31st of March 2015

Duration: 36 months


Project Website:


To watch the movie of the full AT SEA project: please click here!


Project information movie: please click here.


Project Aim/Goals


The project aims at the development of advanced technical textiles in order to

demonstrate the technical and economical feasibility of open sea cultivation of macroalgae (seaweed).


The project targets the development of novel textile materials for 3 different elements

of the aquatic biomass cultivation farms:

• Advanced 3D multilayer textile substrates for seaweed cultivation

• Advanced textile based cables and connections for positioning and anchoring of

the 3D multilayer textile substrate

• Advanced coated textiles for flexible and light-weight floatation tubes, as well as for storage and transportation tanks


By reaching these goals, AT~SEA targets at the development of innovative offshore textile products. Further,

it wants to stimulate bio-energy production from seaweed by enabling open sea large scale cultivation and



The choice for macroalgae based aquatic biomass cultivation in AT~SEA is based on the following reasoning:

1) 70% of the earth’s surface is ocean, thus there is a huge potential for biomass growth,

2) macroalgae grow much faster than conventional crops on land,

3) by producing the biomass at sea we avoid the discussions about land food crops being used as fuel/energy

source. This is the so-called food-energy nexus.


It is an important challenge as today the total worldwide energy consumption is ca. 480 exajoules (EJ, 480 × 1018 J).

Approximately 90% is derived from the combustion of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, i.e. coal, oil and natural gas, are

limited in supply and will one day be depleted. As a result the quest for renewable energies started decades ago.

These are energies generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides, etc. but also from industrial or

urban waste and biomass. Induced by numerous studies and energy conferences, the 27 member states of the EU

decided in 2007 that 20% of our energy should come from renewable sources by 2020 (Lisbon Treaty). Biomass energy,

being the oldest source of renewable energy, is generally acknowledged as one of the most promising. The technology

is based on converting biomass material (plants and animal waste) into energy (i.e. heat, electricity and/or chemicals,

like methane gas, butanol, etc.).


The project consortium is well-balanced and consists of 11 partners from 7 European countries (5 SME’s, 4 RTD’s

and 2 LE’s). In order to facilitate a successful project, the consortium covers a broad range of required competences,

i.e. textiles, biology and biotechnology, offshore engineering, and renewable energy. Since the focus is on the

development of textiles, 6 out of 11 partners stem from the textile sector.


“The At~Sea project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework

Programme (FP7/2007-2013) for research, technological development and demonstration

under grant agreement n° 280860.”



Role of Hortimare within the Project


Hortimare plays an intensive role in Work Package 3 with the highlight in tasks 3.1 and 3.2 as well as a minor role in Work Packages 1, 6 and 7.


The general objective of WP3 is to


The main objective of WP1 is to


The general objective of WP6 is to


The main objective of WP7 is to





Sioen Industries, Belgium

Devan-Micropolis S.A., Portugal

Hortimare, The Netherlands

Oceanfuel Ltd, Ireland

Eurofilet SARL, Morocco

Stichting Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN), The Netherlands

Centre Scientifique & Technique de l'Industrie Textile Belge, Belgium

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Scotland

Norsk Marinteknisk Forskninginstitutt AS, Norway

Bexco NV, Belgium

Tecnologia Redera SL, Spain

© Hortimare BV - All published text and images are owned by Hortimare and may not be used,

published, distributed or copied without specific written approval of Hortimare BV.