Published on 26/01/2024. Written by Dr Tomás Harrington, Associate Professor in Digitalisation and Operations Management, Innovation, Technology and Operations Management Group, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia.

This report was conducted as part of the SEA project. The project is led by Hethel Innovation in collaboration with The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of East Anglia (UEA). The SEA project is funded by the Norfolk Investment Framework, Norfolk County Council, UK.

The link to the PDF version of the report can be found here.

Executive Summary

  • One critical challenge in developing ‘competitive’ seaweed supply chains, as part of an economic growth/commercialisation agenda, is that there is no defined pathway to follow;

  • To grow investment into nascent and emerging seaweed supply chains, a clearer understanding
    and engagement with supply chain configuration and strategy is required (emerging product-based opportunities may require different supply chain configurations to support different

  • To make significant gains in terms of resource utilisation and market value, firms could evaluate
    different supply chain configurations for different strategies, products, and practices – based on
    LARG (Lean; Agile; Resilient; Green) principles;

  • The development of sector-specific ‘design rules’ can be a key mechanism to enable various
    specialist stakeholders (with niche specialisms in R&D; process/equipment development, or
    supply chain designs incorporating digital technologies) to address significant knowledge gaps
    and knowledge development challenges;

  • In line with developments in other process industries (e.g., pharmaceuticals), there is a need to
    re-define the role of institutional actors beyond that of the traditional governance task, to one of
    being able to facilitate performance outcomes

This work has been possible thanks to the Norfolk Investment Framework, Norfolk County Council.