Meet the GENIALG Scientists: Frank Neumann May 27, 2021
‘Meet the GENIALG Scientists and their Results’ is a series of articles profiling researchers and their results from GENIALG. The series will be showcased on the GENIALG website and social media channels. Its aim is to aid and encourage researchers to engage locally with the public across the six partner countries of Norway, France, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.
Where you are from (country) and where you are currently based (if different):
I’m German, and based in Portugal, since 1999. By mid-2021, my usually frequent, regular travels to Norway to support the Trondheim-based SES team in operations and for meetings has been disrupted for too long!
Academic background and research areas:
I Graduated in Civil Engineering (Dipl-Ing.), hydraulic structures; now working on improving offshore seaweed farming techniques and processing/logistics. Not directly connected to the seaweed sector, I also work on ocean wave energy development.
Any advice you would give or a favourite quote:
Two classics we learned the hard way in the Norwegian Islands: “The early bird catches the worm” and “Never trust the weather forecast!”
Current research role, work and key results within GENIALG:
I am working with Seaweed Solutions (SES) as WP3 leader, responsible for (i) work package coordination and ensuring GENIALG deliverables; (ii) leading of offshore farming techniques improvement; (iii) ensuring delivery of raw material to WP4 processing partners.
As a pioneer in offshore seaweed farming, since 2009 SES has strived for increased collaboration, mainly on an international level to accelerate the uptake of seaweed biomass in different markets. Environmental benefits of seaweed cultivation and the preservation of natural resources are among the main motivations for our team. In particular, EC collaboration projects like GENIALG are great vehicles to further develop this spirit!
One of our key findings in GENIALG is that there are a wide range of unexplored possibilities to valorise our raw material, and that we do not need to limit this to the food or feed market. Biomedical aspects in particular, but also increased valorisation in nutraceuticals and the progress of advanced processing/extraction techniques in the biorefinery context represent an interesting opportunity for the producers. Another aspect interesting to observe was that small, gradual learning steps can lead to astonishing success when working in the sea. It’s not always necessary to pursue over-ambitious high-tech, high-investment solutions in early stage, though, it is equally important to have visions for the latter.
A seaweed a day keeps the belly away J
Funny story/incident from your GENIALG work:
Back in 2016, when we changed our focus from “energy” to “food”, several of my colleagues found the thought of eating seaweed disgusting, especially if it’s fresh from the sea. One year later, they were already giving seaweed cooking workshops and preaching “seaweed for food” wherever they went!
Email and/or social media links e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter etc:
LinkedIn (SES company account): https://www.linkedin.com/company/seaweed-solutions-as/
Facebook (SES company account): Seaweed Solutions
Company website: www.seaweedsolutions.com