There is a better way. It lies in what’s called the circular bio economy.
AgriSea partnered with Crown Research Institute Scion where Dr Stefan Hill and his team have been working for many years on building a unique and new opportunity for New Zealand’s high value industries.
Seeking alternatives to the wasteful manufacture that does not honour the people or te taiao (the environment) this work gives AgriSea the opportunity to move into a circular bio economy model.
“The circular bio economy takes from nature where there’s no such thing as a waste stream,” explains Dr Hill. “There is only the input for another process.”
AgriSea products provide employment in coastal communities where our key ingredient, the native seaweed species Ecklonia radiata, is sustainably gathered and our unique process of manufacture into biostimulants begins.
Biostimulants assist New Zealand farmers and growers in their endeavours to support and maximise the life giving properties of the soil while producing food for people.
Our partnership with Scion allows us to take the waste stream from our seaweed industry and apply green chemistry to convert that waste for the first time at scale into the manufacture of nannocellulose.
“It’s an incredible example of science and industry working really well together, creating a bright future for New Zealand,” says Clare, our AgriSea CEO.
Increased value from processing of Ecklonia similarly increases the value for our people working to gather the raw material.
Dr Stefan Hill, Portfolio leader, high value biorefineries, Scion
AgriSea won the 2021-22 Kudo Science Award (Hill Laboratories Primary Industries Award) for our Scion/Agrisea Nanocellulose from Seaweed Team. The Kudos Awards spotlight scientists whose work has taken the region and New Zealand onto the international stage.
What is nanocellulose?
Nanocellulose is a high value material with tensile strength stronger than steel and a co efficient of expansion less than glass making it a very high performance material in many applications.
We are creating the world’s first commercial seaweed nanocellulose facility at AgriSea.
This $1.5 million project will create several new full-time roles here at AgriSea. We received a $750,000 loan announced in 2022 by Stuart Nash, the Minister of Economic and Regional Development.
Minister Nash described the project as being at the cutting edge of global innovation.
*the fractional change in length, area, or volume per unit change in temperature of a solid, liquid, or gas at a given constant pressure.