Chinese company Gather Great Ocean Group (GGOG) has purchased a South Australian seaweed manufacturing company to develop the “blue economy” of marine resources.
The $21 million investment will harvest kelp along the state’s southwest coast to be made into fertalisers and food.
To further the investment potential, Flinder’s University has partnered with GGOG to establish an Advanced Macroalgae Biotechnology Joint Laboratory at Flinders in Adelaide and in Qingdao, China.
A $5 million Shandong Blue Economy Project has been successfully granted to GGOG to commercialise clean bioprocessing technologies for seaweeds in 2014.
Flinders Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development Manager Mr Raymond Tham said the seaweed would be manufactured into a range of high-value products, including functional foods, medical compounds and eco-friendly agricultural chemicals.
The links have also led to a formal agreement for cooperation to be signed with the Key Laboratory for Coastal Biology and Bioresource Utilisation, based in the Yantai Institute for Coastal Zone Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The South Australian government, led by Premier Jay Weatherall, are on a trade mission to China this week. Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber has joined the delegation.