Seaweed innovation that leads the world

Published: 17 August, 2022

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  • Waikato

An innovative $1.5 million project in Paeroa in the Waikato that will likely create the world’s first commercial seaweed-based nanocellulose manufacturing plant is being supported with a $750,000 loan from Kānoa’s Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.

Minister Nash and AgriSea Chief Executive Clare Bradley standing in a manufacturing warehouse holding seaweed

Minister Nash with AgriSea Chief Executive Clare Bradley.

The investment will allow Māori-owned AgriSea New Zealand, a well-established family company producing biostimulants from native seaweed for horticulture and agriculture industries, to expand and diversify its current plant and produce commercial volumes of nanocellulose hydrogel. Nine jobs will be created.

AgriSea New Zealand website

The product can be used in bio-composites, cosmetics, wound care and tissue engineering. The seaweed nanocellulose differs from tree-based sources and will supply a growing market both in New Zealand and offshore.

AgriSea has been operating successfully for 26 years and is already a recognised leader in seaweed and agricultural products.

“Its strong commitment and investment in research and development of this new product, in partnership with Crown Research Institute Scion, is shining a light on the exciting potential of the marine economy.

“Investing in AgriSea not only supports local job creation but will help grow our regional economies and allow businesses to continue to innovate,” says Minister of Economic and Regional Development Stuart Nash.

The project aligns with the Government’s Aquaculture Strategy and its goal to reach $3 billion in annual sales by 2035.

Aquaculture strategy for New Zealand – Ministry for Primary Industries

The initiative also supports Waikato’s strategic regional economic development priorities of sustainable food and agriculture.

Regional economic development priorities

More information on the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund can be found here: 

The Regional Strategic Partnership Fund