The North East Business and Innovation Centre’s (BIC) Innovation Programme has supported Seaweed & Co. to expand on its unique seaweed powders to reach a wider market and provide much needed health benefits.

North Shields based Seaweed & Co. has developed a micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient, with support from the BIC’s programme, which has the potential to tackle obesity and assist with managing blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

Dr Craig Rose, managing director at Seaweed & Co., said: “After working in the marine industry for over 15 years, I have found that seaweed has proven itself as economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. It has a wide range of health benefits and huge scope for growth commercially.

“We invested a lot into developing unique seaweed powders using our Patent Pending techniques and have been delighted with the return on investment to date. Our original powders have had great success.  However, they are mainly suitable for savoury flavours and so wanted to create something new to reach a wider market such as beverages and sports nutrition which have sweeter flavours.”

The BIC’s Innovation Programme is helping SMEs across the North East realise their innovative possibilities by providing funding for unique products, services or processes, by providing independent advice and guidance, access to industry experts and links to other support agencies.

Dr Rose added: “The BIC’s Innovation Programme was recommended from various sources and I approached them to help with the development of our exciting, new product.
“From initial contact right through to bringing our new product to market, Elizabeth Shaw from the BIC was extremely helpful. She guided us through the programme, ensuring we were eligible for funding and assisting us wherever necessary.

“If you have real innovation to explore, I would highly recommend the Innovation Programme. The team at the BIC ensure that the process is not too time consuming or daunting, providing you with the time you need to focus on the task at hand; which will hopefully help to grow your business.”

The new product, ‘Seaweed&TM Protect’, is a fine seaweed powder; each individual particle is finely coated with a thin layer of plant protein. The coating protects key nutrients during digestion, allowing these nutrients to be released where you most need them.

Dr Rose is currently working with Newcastle University to advance understanding of the health and nutritional benefits of their products, to enable the company to continue to develop new, market-leading products.

The company’s seaweed-based products have already achieved great success and Dr Rose hopes to increase consumer understanding of seaweed, and its benefits in the daily diet.

For more information on Seaweed & Co. please visit www.seaweedandco.com.

To find out more about the Innovation Programme, visit www.ne-bic.co.uk/supporting-innovation or call 0191 516 6035.