EU funding for demonstration and commercialisation of an innovative production process for European lobster (Homarus gammarus) aqua- and mariculture, based on a novel business model for shellfish sea ranching.
Nordic Innovators has successfully assisted the Norwegian SME Norsk Hummer Drift AS in securing an EU grant through the Dedicated SME-Instrument Phase II. Through the SELAM project, sustainable, high-quality farmed European lobster will reach the market with significant added value for the customer compared to existing wild-caught alternatives.
Briefly, the SELAM process combines land-based aquaculture of hatched eggs through the larval and juvenile stages before release into sea-ranching ocean mariculture, where growth happens without human interference and at no cost. After ~5 years, the lobsters are harvested and sold at portion-size, which attracts the highest price among lobster products.
The European lobster is among the most exclusive shellfish products, readily fetching prices several fold higher than the lower-quality American lobster (H. americanus), and the cool Norwegian coastal waters are recognised as giving ideal conditions for production of lobster of very high quality. Crucially, the product will be wholly sustainable with assured year-round supply at high volume, ready to fulfil market demands.
The main objectives of SELAM are to integrate the existing prototypes into an automated system and to further demonstrate its commercial potential and process in real production conditions, further on to upscale both the supply chains to meet expected market demands, to perform market analytics covering both the EU and worldwide shellfish markets, and to implement a detailed innovation management strategy including plans for stakeholder engagement, project result exploitation and dissemination
“From the beginning Nordic Innovators has demonstrated expert knowledge”, said Karl Christian Baumann, CEO of Norsk Hummer and Coordinator of the SELAM project. “Based on our prototype set-up and R&D needs, NI took the lead and developed a clear EU funding strategy for us – addressing both R&D and market maturation activities. Until now, Nordic Innovators has developed two out of three planned EU proposals for us, and both projects have received funding from EU - a fantastic result for our company and shareholders! It has been a pleasure working with Nordic Innovators, their consultants have guided us smoothly through the process and developed a very high quality proposal. Our final Phase II proposal was the only project being funded under the Blue Growth Call”