During 14 – 20 August 2016 the study visit of the Kaliningrad delegation to Sweden and Denmark took place in the framework of the NCM’s project “Assessment of Blue Bioeconomy’s potential in the Kaliningrad Region”. The group visited the Trelleborg municipality in Sweden, Taastrup, Skive, Reersø Nykoebing Mors and Billund in Denmark. The delegation consisted of 12 persons representing universities, research institutions, companies and organizations. The visit was organized by the Centre of Services Taurus, LLC in cooperation with the Association of SME’s support centres of the Kaliningrad region.
During the 5-days programme the participants of the delegation gained knowledge about the experience of Swedish and Danish companies and organizations working in blue bioeconomy sector. The group visited several companies and organizations, shared their knowledge with Swedish and Danish colleagues, as well as discussed possible cooperation.
The delegation visited the biogas pilot plant in Smyge, city of the Trelleborg Municipality. Biogas is produced from algae plucked from the beach. The pilot plant construction was financed by grant-money and 2 years operated in test regime only on algae collected from the beach by special equipment. Now the investigations are underway aimed at the optimization of the plant’s operation and decrease of biogas production cost.
There are several key factors which encouraged the local administration to approve and start the construction of the biogas pilot plant operating on seaweed. Taking care of the environment is the most important reason, as well as boosting local economy, job creation. After the project’s financing is finished the plant will be moved and incorporated into a bigger biogas plant.
The Kaliningrad delegation expressed great interest in the Swedish experience of constructing and managing the algae biogas plant. The participants asked a lot of questions about the technology of collecting and processing algae, production costs and etc., as in the Kaliningrad region there is also quiet ample amount of algae washed ashore along the seacoast which are not processed but left on the beach.
In Denmark the delegation visited several companies dealing with the development and production of equipment for fish processing plants and fish farming companies. This included Musholm A/S in Reersø dealing with farming rainbow trout in cages in the Great Belt waters. The owner told about the technological cycle of farming rainbow trout.
Aquaculture was a key point of the study visit programme for in the Kaliningrad region there is a great potential for the development of fish farming, there are funds within the regional program for aquaculture development earmarked to companies dealing with aquaculture, but there is a lack of modern technology and investment.The delegation was interested in the possibility of organizing internship for Kaliningrad specialists on fish farming at Musholm A / S.
The delegation visited AgroTech Department of the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), the staff of which are engaged in the development of new technologies in crop production, food production, environmental protection and their introduction into commercial and industrial production. The Institute works closely with the representatives of both small and medium-sized businesses and global companies, providing them with their developments. The University also maintains an active international cooperation.
The Institute is a partner of the SUBMARINER Network, which is a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and was created after the completion of the European project «SUBMARINER – Sustainable use of marine resources of the Baltic Sea”, which was implemented in the period 2010-2013. SUBMARINER Network deals with the promotion of innovative approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources of the Baltic Sea, as well as serves as a platform for cooperation between partners from the entire Baltic Sea region.
The Network implements the Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance project started in 2016. The project brings together 22 partners from the Baltic Sea region and is aimed at the creation of a pool of all available competences (technical and material resources, knowledge, technology, etc.) in the Baltic Sea region in order to develop and promote ‘green’ technologies to the market.
One can become a participant of the project by either offering a project for consideration, or by joining one of the projects which search for partners. Becoming a member of this partnership ensures the long-term partnership in the framework of the Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance project and SUBMARINER Network, through which it is possible to further promote own research results, find customers for buying developed technologies.
The delegation expressed their interest to the project, as the participants of the delegation have project ideas that could be submitted for consideration to the Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance (a project on mussels cultivation, use of algae, etc..), but it is necessary to clarify the conditions of Russian partners participation in the project via INTERREG BSR.
Another company, which was visited by the Kaliningrad delegation, is a global company KROMA A/S in Skive dealling with the development and production of equipment for fish-processing plants. CEO Ivan Christensen told about the manufactured equipment (for gutting, filleting, cleaning, preparing mince, pieces), and showed the production department.
KROMA A/S cooperates with universities, providing the opportunity for internship for scientists and students for the period of about 6 months. The possibility of such cooperation aroused interest of the representatives of educational and research institutions which took part in the visit.
In Nykoebing Mors the delegation visited the Danish Shellfish Centre. The center deals with the cultivation of shellfish, including oysters for human consumption; explores new methods of shellfish cultivation; deals with the cultivation of macroalgae for human consumption and use in the medical industry; researches new applications of macroalgae.
The last company visited by the delegation was Billund Aquakulturservice A/S, which specializes in planning, design, construction, installation and operation of land-based aquaculture recirculating systems for more than 25 species of marine and freshwater fish. Billund Aquakulturservice A/S is one of the leaders in the production of equipment for aquaculture businesses.
During the design of the equipment the company is working closely with the customer. The main requirement to the customer is to have a clear idea about the kind of fish that is going to be farmed, production cycle and production capacity. The company also provides the following services: estimates the size of production facilities needed, the number and type of equipment, the future costs and develops a 3D-model of a fish farm. Upon the sale of the equipment the company also provides training for 4-6 months for customer’s staff in the company. In addition, if desired, aftersale support is available for the customer. The representatives of the delegation and the company discussed the possibility of cooperation.
The article is prepared by Christina Parkhomenko, Project Leader of the “Assessment of Blue Bioeconomy’s potential in the Kaliningrad Region”