Under the new Interregional innovation investments instrument (I3) as part of the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) a consortium led by the SUBMARINER Network comprising 12 partners has been awarded a €5.14million grant to foster the mussel production in the Baltic Sea area.
The Baltic MUPPETS (Baltic Mussel Products for Pet-Foods) project aims to develop economically and environmentally viable businesses with a positive socioeconomic impact. The project sets out to create a completely new value chain based on small mussels which will enable a new circular economy in the Baltic Sea region.
Due to low salinity, Baltic Sea mussels are often smaller and therefore not always suitable for direct human consumption. In the western Baltic Sea, small mussels are considered a side-stream of market-size mussel production. Nevertheless, mussel meat contains the same amino acid composition as fish meal, and can be used as a sustainable raw material in animal feed. The objective will therefore be to valorize this unused resource through the cooperation of three demonstrators in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The project will invest in mussel farms and innovative submerged farming techniques (to avoid damages from ice, reduce costs and increase public acceptance) to create high-value pet food products.
BalticMUPPETS will also conduct market research to co-develop business cases for additional products from small mussels. Finally, the project will offer acceleration services and cascade funding to start-ups and SMEs to exploit new market entry points in regional value chains.