Seagriculture EU

18 - 20 June 2024

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Factors influencing the value of farmed seaweed

Charlie Bavington, CTO, Oceanium, United Kingdom

About the speaker: 

Charlie is a biochemist who has worked for over 25 years in natural products research, specialising in marine natural products, with a focus on glycobiology and carbohydrate chemistry.

Following PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh, and a postdoc at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, he has worked in marine biotechnology start-ups developing products and services for a wide range of markets ranging including pharma, healthcare, nutrition, personal care, feed, and materials. He has founded 3 companies, most recently he co-founded seaweed biorefinery company Oceanium.

Company info:


Oceanium is a seaweed biorefinery company with R&D labs and HQ in Oban Scotland. Karen Scofield Seal and Dr. Charlie Bavington established OCEANIUM due to shared passion to enable and scale the emerging seaweed industry in the Western hemisphere.  They lead a team committed to maximising the economic and compositional value of seaweed by producing novel and versatile ingredients for food, health, skincare and materials that have multiple applications and leave as little waste behind as possible.


Seaweed farmers, unlike wild harvesters, have the unique opportunity to influence the quality and value of their crop. Current knowledge, including recent research conducted by Oceanium, highlights the extrinsic (environmental conditions) and intrinsic factors (genetics) that modify seaweed composition and quality, which directly determine economic value. Oceanium takes careful consideration of these factors when working with its suppliers and believes the industry needs to strongly consider the value of seaweed produced not just the mass.


1) What is your vision for the European seaweed industry in 2030?

Large scale kelp farming and processing - > 100,000 tonnes wet weight p.a. enabled by biorefinery processing in several locations supplying competitive food, feed, bioactives and materials ingredients.

2) What are the 3 main challenges to develop the European seaweed industry?

Proof of market



3) When and how did you get involved with seaweeds ?

PhD in Biochemistry led to career in commercial marine biotechnology focusing on glycobiology / glycochemistry – started working with fucoidan about 15 years ago.