Research & Development ($9.5 Million)

The R&D component of the Alaska Mariculture Cluster supports creation of new markets for Alaska seaweed, data collection on mariculture farm site suitability and operational efficiencies, reduction of operational costs at seaweed nurseries, and sharing of knowledge and experiences between industry participants. This component will support numerous applied research projects focused on mariculture product development while also leveraging resources at other entities through joint innovation projects, an annual mariculture conference, and research into carbon capture possibilities. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game will document the degree of adaptive genetic variation within commercially grown seaweed species and populations in Alaska waters in order to inform Alaska’s current regulatory structure.

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation will be analyzing seaweed tissue for chemistry and nutritional profiles as well as overseeing joint innovation projects to accelerate the development of applied technologies. AFDF will also be responsible for organizing and sponsoring an annual mariculture conference each year of the grant period and continuing efforts to de-risk investments in aquatic farming.

Projected Timeline Submitted to the EDA

Project Narrative submitted to the EDA: Research and Development

Sub-Award Recipients
Current Projects

Joint Innovation Projects (JIP) program is designed to accelerate innovation in the Alaska mariculture industry by funding applied research and development projects which address barriers to growth in Alaska’s mariculture industry. This program is led by AFDF as part of the Research and Development component of the Alaska Mariculture Cluster. For the program’s inaugural year, AFDF is funding 15 projects for a total of $1,273,748. The projects cover five categories: innovations in processing, innovations in bull kelp farming, innovations in mooring systems, boosting oyster growth, and shellfish enhancement. Projects will receive up to $100,000 for up to 18 months starting in August of 2023. Information about individual projects can be found here. 

Upcoming Opportunities

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