AgriFutures Australia is the trading name for Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC). AgriFutures Australia invests in research, leadership, innovation and learning to support industries that do not have their own research and development function, new and emerging industries, and the issues that affect the whole of agriculture.
2022 Scholarship winner
Nuffield Scholarship to support Australia’s emerging seaweed industry
Jo Kelly, CEO of the Australian Seaweed Institute, has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship supported by AgriFutures Australia.
“The Australian Seaweed Institute is a seaweed aquaculture and biotechnology company, and we are on a mission to build a regenerative seaweed industry in Australia that supports thriving oceans and coastal communities,” Jo says.
The company, based in Queensland, is developing seaweed biofilters to protect the Great Barrier Reef from declining water quality. The excess seaweed is harvested for use as beneficial agricultural products such as biofertiliser and low methane animal feed.
Through her Nuffield Scholarship, Jo aims to accelerate the development of the emerging seaweed industry in Australia. She will travel to countries that have well-established and emerging seaweed industries. With plans to visit South Korea, Japan, France, the UK, Canada and the US, Jo aims to understand the policy, technology and capability needed for the seaweed industry to thrive.
“I am particularly interested in looking at leading practice examples of seaweed industry development models that have incorporated broader social and environmental outcomes such as indigenous people’s participation, circular economy principles, environmental services, sustainable food production, regenerative aquaculture, nature-based solutions, and coastal community development,” Jo says.
This research will build on the Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint, which Jo authored. The blueprint outlines the economic, social and environmental opportunities and challenges to develop the Australian industry. Jo is also the chair of the Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA), the newly established peak industry body for Australian seaweed.
“My work on the Australian Seaweed Industry Blueprint provides a pathway to develop a $100 million seaweed industry by 2025 and a $1.5 billion industry by 2040.”
The Blueprint was developed in partnership with AgriFutures Australia who are continuing their support for seaweed as an emerging new industry.
Jo’s Nuffield Scholarship to support the Australian seaweed industry is generously supported by AgriFutures Australia.
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