The Marine Biobased Chemistry research group aims to apply marine biomass and the substances you can extract from it sustainably in the transition to a biocircular economy.
Established in 2017, the lectureship has the Joint Research Center Zeeland (JRCZ) in Middelburg as its home base.
The research group is firmly anchored in the Southwest Delta and Zeeland in particular. "With our research we want to contribute to sustainability, knowledge development and innovation capacity in the region. We focus on the transition of the food chain and biobased applications," said associate lector Tanja Moerdijk.
Marine Biobased Chemistry innovates around low-trophic biomass, such as (micro)algae and seaweed, valuable food production and biobased applications. "Seaweed is a sustainable source of protein, but is still relatively little applied. We are good at researching taste, which is very specific, smell and texture of this biomass. That knowledge is important if you want to process the products and make them part of the food chain. In fact, consumers are not yet convinced of the value of marine biomass. Our research plays a big role in this."
If seaweed becomes more established, Europe will become less dependent on imports of protein-rich crops such as soy. Marine Biobased Chemistry is helping to shape the protein transition in the Southwest Delta, putting the region in the national and international spotlight. A third focus of the professorship is the use of marine biomass as feedstock for biobased applications.
The lectureship works closely with industry and other knowledge institutions. Within the HZ, there is a strong link with the Chemistry program. "As a lectureship, we feed the course with relevant case histories, but we also try to teach students entrepreneurial skills, for example."
The research group is part of MNEXT, a collaboration between HZ University of Applied Sciences and Avans.