The Department includes phycologists with competence within disciplines such as microbiology, ecology, molecular biology and biochemistry. The Department co-operates with other researches at NIBIO within sciences such as mycology, virology, modelling, ecology, sociology and animal sciences. The main department tasks are to generate new knowledge related to macroalgae in general; cultivation and exploitation of those for varying purposes such as food and feed.
Prioritised themes and tasks are:
- Cultivation of macroalgae for food and feed
- Cultivate macroalgae as source of high value products such as pigments, pharmaceuticals
- Use of applied stress physiology for increased macroalgae production
- In connection with preparations for large-scale macroalgae production, prioritise macroalgae health as regards virus, bacteria and funghi
- Study climate changes and biodiversity e.g. economic impacts of climate changes and changes in marine biodiversity
- Develop technology based eco-efficiency by transforming waste streams to secondary raw materials for further production
- Develop tools and technology supporting macroalgae exploitation, cultivation and use
- Establish an economically and environmentally friendly CO2 bio refinery for production of innovative high value products from macroalgae.
Use of land-based resources are limited in Norway. The continuous increase of the world’s population entails increased competition for food resources throughout the world. Hence, it is necessary to develop new primary production systems based on marine resources, without competing with land-based food production.
Norway is in a position to take the lead in this important development thanks to the country’s very long and varied coastline. A focus on eco-marine activities will promote a large sustainable future national potential due to considerable amounts of marine biomass containing i.a. proteins and oils.