Session 6:
Micro and macroalgae and future applications


Seaweed cultivation and Blue Bioeconomy in the Faroe Islands


Ólavur Gregersen, Managing Director


Seaweed is an underutilized marine biomass with a great potential as a source for food and
feed. Seaweed also has the potential to replace many of the fossil based products (including
energy). Seaweed utilization has a long history in Europe, but the sourcing of biomass is
based on wild harvest. Increased and sustainable utilisation of seaweed must be based on
cultivation systems that are scalable and can be deployed in an open ocean environment. A
proven off-shore seaweed cultivation system in the Faroe Islands will be presented,
highlighting the positive impacts of seaweed cultivation on new products, jobs and its
environmental benefits in terms of bioremediation of nutrients and offsetting of carbon
emissions. The conclusion is that small island nations have potential for value creation and
societal growth in a blue bioeconomic context, if they can utilize their potential as a large
ocean state while maintaining environmental balance.


Olavur Gregersen (M.Sc. Econ), Co-founder, major shareholder and Managing Director of
Ocean Rainforest, which cultivates seaweed and spans the whole value chain from seeding to
processing into ready to sell products. Ocean Rainforest is one of the very few companies in
the world with a proven and scalable offshore cultivation system. Olavur is the
Dissemination and Exploitation Manager of the European H2020 BioBased Industry project
“Macro Cascade”, and the Technical Director of the US ARPA-E funded project
“MacroSystems”. He has been the coordinator of the Nordic Innovation project MacroValue;
and the NORA project MacroBiotech and TaraTekstil. Olavur is frequently invited as a
speaker at international conferences on seaweed cultivation and growth in the blue
bioeconomy. He is a member of the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel and a member of the European
Blue Bioeconomy Forum Steering Group working for DG Mare in EU.

Institute/ organisation:

Ocean Rainforest/Syntesa