The research group Marine Biobased Specialties (MBBS) aims to use marine biomass and the substances you can obtain from it sustainably in the transition to a bio-circular economy.
The professorship, which was established in 2017, is still based in Vlissingen, but as soon as the Joint Research Centre Zeeland (JRCZ) is completed, the researchers will move to the new research centre at Het Groene Woud in Middelburg.
The research group is firmly rooted in the South-western Delta and Zeeland in particular. "With our research we want to contribute to sustainability, knowledge development and innovation in the region. We focus on the transition of the food chain and biobased applications", says researcher Tanja Moerdijk.
Marine Biobased Specialties 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 used. 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. Consumers are not yet convinced of the value of marine biomass. Our research plays a major role in this.
If seaweed becomes more established, Europe will also become less dependent on imports of protein-rich crops such as soya. Marine Biobased Specialties wants to help shape the protein transition here, putting the region in the national and international spotlight. A third point on which the professorship focuses is the use of marine biomass as a raw material for biobased applications.
The chair works closely with the business community and other knowledge institutions. Within the HZ, there is a strong link with the Chemistry programme. "As a lectorate, we feed the course with relevant case studies, but we also try to teach students entrepreneurial skills, for example."