The Weekly Times
A West Australian biotech company has been awarded a prestigious climate resilience prize in Europe, beating out 1200 start ups from across the globe.
SeaStock was awarded the Louis Dreyfus Corporation Climate Resilience Prize in Lausanne, Switzerland, for its technological approach in helping the agriculture industry reduce carbon emissions.
SeaStock identifies and cultivates high-value natural compounds from native seaweeds in WA waters, and has developed an extraction technique that is commercially scalable to meet the growing global demand for seaweed-based feed ingredients.
Start-up accelerator MassChallenge awarded the prize, with MassChallenge President Ian Roberts recognising SeaStock’s potential to deliver rapid impacts by cutting emissions from the world’s dairy and beef herds.
“SeaStock provides a solution that can plug into the existing supply chain, thus scale fast to cut emissions in the short and medium term,” said Mr Roberts.
SeaStock managing director Tom Puddy said the award was recognition of the very real commercial potential of its land-based cultivation and extraction technology in relation to the native seaweed asparagopsis.
“This gives us instant validation that the science we’ve created, and our business model, is now recognised by major global companies across the global food supply chains,” he said.
Mr Puddy said the global recognition was fantastic, but the “burning platform” in Europe for the product was not yet matched in Australia.
“The interest in Europe comes from two driving factors. One is government legislation that mandates companies to report on their emissions, and secondly, companies are also interested in (the product) from a productivity point of view,” he said.
“When you compare to Australia, the market is in a bit of a lag, as the government doesn’t mandate companies to report on their emissions.
“We do have some early adopters that see the economic benefit, but I think we’re three to five years away from being in the same position as Europe.”
The award will enable SeaStock to employ more scientists and researchers to conduct more product testing and development.
“I think the next steps for us is that we’re actively engaging in establishing offtake agreements with domestic and international clients, and we’re looking for a strategic long-term partner to come in and help us scale up globally.”