Now also member of blue Growth Cluster
The Blue Growth Cluster is an independent and neutral partner that supports Flemish companies in setting up partnerships with other companies, knowledge centers and government institutions with a view to developing and promoting economic activities at sea. Zeebes is now an SME partner, looking forward to explore new opportunities.
We won! Thank you Aquavlan...
Last weekend we won 30k€ worth in aquaculture expert studies in a business plan contest during the Aquaculture Bootcamp organized by Aquavlan at Inagro. We compiled a business plan for on-land integrated production of shrimp and seaweed. Together with the two other participants, Machteld De Groef and Thierry Janssens, we agreed to use the prize to overcome some technical and legal challenges related to "novel food" algae. Next time should be about ascidians!
Woohoow! The lab was delivered!
Things started getting real when the lab was delivered. Here we will be performing the most basic analyses. There's plenty of stuff to play around with but for more in-depth analysis (the expensive work), we'll still have to contact the real experts.
Allright! Our pilot installed :))
This is our playground a the site of the ILVO research institute in Ostend: a refurbished water purification installation that is intended to become the ultimate testing place of promising ascidian growing methods. For now, we're only storing small volumes of animals that were harvested in harbours nearby.
Yes! The industrial R&D project approved!
It took us a few months to write the industrial R&D project, and another few months to get it approved by VLAIO. But in June 2017 we finally got the approval. Thanks to knowledge partner ILVO, and the UGent aquaculture lab for collaborating. We soon got over the fact that only part of the budget was approved and that we were asked to shorten the timespan. Above all, we couldn't wait to start the real work! The current Zeebes project gives us 18 months to produce a minimum viable product and get that appreciated by the market. If successful, the next step will be to master (re)production methods. Meanwhile we have been taking some first steps to understand ascidian biology and how their production could work. Although other applications are not principally excluded, the scope of this R&D project is deliberately limited to aquaculture applications. For now, that is. Despite our focus on aquaculture, the problem is similar in agriculture and its scale even much larger. Our first interest is to produce a shrimp feed product, but from there we see many more opportunities for ascidians: not only in feed but even in nutrition and nutraceuticals.
The feasibility study approved, let's get started!
Building on our long interest and experience in sustainable business and in the alternative feed ingredient sector, in 2015-2016 we performed a small VLAIO subsidized SME feasibility study that confirmed the potential of an ascidian meal product in the feed industry and the feasibility (some important but well identified challenges aside) of ascidians’ production and processing. Although the feasibility study resulted in good indications , further analysis was needed to better quantify and understand their nutritional profiles and make a more rigorous comparison with soy, fish meal, macro and micro algae.