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ONLINE CONFERENCE

SEAGRICULTURE 2020
9th International Seaweed Conference

"Seaweeds: supporting the European Green Deal"

Gediminas Tamosaitis, CEO and Cluster Coordinator, Metal Production, Rocket Cluster, LT

 "Seaweed cultivation: from napkin sketch to mechanized harvesting" 

About the speaker:

Gediminas is dedicated for launching successful businesses and developing sustainable growth strategies. His strength is to engage team members and develop their unique personalities for the company’s success. After graduation in construction engineering, his professional path led to several sales positions. Working in sales he discovered that he is passionate about connecting with people, networking, being able to quickly realize their needs. His moto is: there are no problems, just challenges that can be solved.  Gediminas is the third youngest brother in his family. Probably tough brothers` competition made him as he is Today.  This led him to start several startups and make a major impact for the growth of organizations. Today Gediminas sales and business development experience counts more than 17 years that have generated revenue of over 17 Million Eur and this KPI is rapidly growing every year. Since 2012 and today he serves as a CEO in a professional consulting company Metal Production and as a coordinator of Rocket Cluster for engineering and producing non-standard equipment. 


Company info:

The company Metal Production is strong in designing, modeling, and by outsourcing managing to produce industrial tailor-made equipment for offshore, marine and aquaculture industries. Metal production is a coordinator of Rocket cluster and has a network of 60+ sub-contractors in Baltic Region.


Abstract: 

We aim for a long-term partnership as it is most beneficial for both parties. By working closely together we get to understand what clients need and deliver tailor-fit solutions at a reasonable cost, which in most cases are extremely competitive. Though we are qualified in many disciplines but specifically focused on macro and microalgae for more than 4 years. We faced several challenges. Today these challenges are called cultivation modules, multiple substrates seeding machine and mechanized harvester. We were pleased to get a job from Arctic Seaweed AS and face these engineering challenges. The first challenge was to develop cultivation modules in less than 3 months. We compared offers from 1 contractor and 10 subcontractors and calculated that the price was much better achieved by splitting production among 10 subcontractors. This production required close cooperation with many industrial companies which enabled rapid prototyping. 

After FAT, tons of plastic and thousands of meters of custom substrate were ordered. Many other issues like "how do you pack something that has never been packed before" had to be solved.

Meantime another challenge was hurting our neurons as state-of-the-art seeding machine had to be conceptualized, designed, produced, and tested. The best result was achieved in cooperation with Hortimare and hiring experts in the seeding field. 

The main objective was to find the correct and economic way to insert microscopic living organisms to a substrate. These organisms are so fragile, that they could die from a wind gust. So industrial-scale equipment was not the friendliest habitat. Most precision devices were discovered, however even these proved to be only partly effective. Metal Production had made a unique design for Arctic Seaweed AS of a seeding machine that would be most suitable for the specific microorganisms.

One more problem was huge distances between operation points, so the machine also had to be massive. We had three tasks to solve: tensioning, cutting, cleaning.

Precise machinery usually works with precise product. While ropes in this case are far from being precise. After one year in the sea, it can shrink about 3-5 proc., next year another 2-3 proc., etc. This information also had to be taken into consideration while designing harvesting machine.

These are just a few challenges that had to be solved for successful seaweed seeding and harvesting. After the machines have been delivered to Norway, skilled Metal Production engineers participated in the process start-up and harvesting. We gained a lot of “know-how” knowledge during this project and our company is one of the pioneers in designing industrial-scale seaweed harvesting machines.

This activity created a moment of inertia for uniting different competences engineering companies and for establishing a new cluster called Rocket cluster. Recently, Cluster achieved grants from the EU for joining international business networks, Association, and other organizations to expand new export markets and promote networking with other companies at the international level. So, we become a member of Submariner Network and applied to European Algae Biomass Association. 

Also, we were very happy to attract investors and raise the funds from Europe Union Smart FDI program (foreign direct Investment) for developing and upscaling this harvesting and cultivation technology in partnership with Rocket Cluster, Arctic Seaweed AS and Valinor AS. For this reason, it was opened a new holding subsidiary company Sirputis UAB with a budget for further R&D of approx. 4million EUR. Within implementing this project our consortium will be able to offer an important innovation and improvements to the market.

Successful cooperation with Arctic seaweed AS helped us to attract other companies who needed other complex nonstandard equipment. Today we are proud to cooperate and with other players from the market such as Seaweed energy solutions AS, AlgaVida AS, Valinor AS. 

You can call us pragmatic company who develops solutions exclusively to its stakeholders and our NDA signed is highly appreciated.

We are welcoming and exited to meet new customers who have challenges with their R&D, Scale-up, Mechanization, Automation, and Industrialization.


Keywords:

Design strategy and management, Design research and insights, Visions and design concepts, Mechanics and structure, Simulations and analysis, Prototyping, Manufacturing, R&D, Scale-up, Mechanization, Automation, Industrialization.