Seagriculture EU

21 - 22 June 2023

Trondheim, Norway

Ross Brooks, Partner, Katapult Ocean, Norway

About the speaker: 

Economist by training with a deep interest in natural capital markets and environmental economics. Executed 52 ocean investments since 2019 across blue food, energy and ocean health domains. 

Company info:
Katapult Ocean

Ocean technology venture investor and accelerator fund - we invest in and support startups that have a positive impact on our ocean.


1. When was the first time you got involved with seaweeds and why?

I have fond memories of turning over seaweed in rockpools on the west coast of Scotland searching for crabs- but I suppose my enthusiasm has shifted somewhat over the years!

At Katapult Ocean we first started researching algae in 2018 - it became quite clear that there was a chicken and egg dynamic at play in the European market, where production volume/ cultivation activity and investment was suppressed despite an emerging understanding of the benefits and potential use cases of algae and algae derived products. The challenges to industry growth included market access, knowledge and technologies, consumer preferences and licensing and infrastructure.  We made our first investment in the space in 2019 - Oceanium - who we viewed as a key industry enabler, both raising the economic value of cultivated algae through biorefinery, providing both market access and a smoother consumer journey to algae derived materials and goods. We have since invested in 9 more algae companies working across the value chain between 2019 and 2022.

2. What is your view on the European seaweed industry in 2030?

Enablers such as Oceanium are making strong progress, enabling the integration of natural algae derivatives into an increasing number of products. Often replacing fossil based ingredients. The market more generally is in the early stage of commercialization of such products and expect to see full commercialization in the next 2 years, the speed of this ramp up which will also depend on Europe's ability to scale cultivation to meet this demand, along with growing demand for seaweed food for both humans and animals. 

The successful ramp up of cultivation in Europe will require knowledge + technology, appropriate financing (which will also evolved as offtake becomes more secure), processing infrastructure and a more streamlined permitting / regulatory approval process. While it is also important to scale this sector mindfully to avoid causing ecological harm, we believe there is a significant growth opportunity in the 5-10 year window and we we see positive developments in all of the above areas.

3. What will you be talking about at Seagriculture EU 2023?

Panel discussion - I can give perspectives from a seaweed investor, challenges, opportunities.