New Astec Centre in UK to offer new opportunities for fledgling marine businesses

The recent opening of the Astec Centre  is expected to offer a number of opportunities for fledgling  marine businesses.

Astec Aquaculture Business & Science Centre is a purpose-built resource that has been created to support the growth of the aquaculture sector.  It opened its doors to businesses and researchers recently, showcasing the extensive facilities and support services that it offers.

Due to its strategic location on the Northumberland coastline at Lyne Sands, Astec is uniquely placed to pump a constant supply of near tropical temperature, flow-through seawater to its state-of-the-art aqua laboratories, which are fitted out with specialist equipment to support a broad range of commercial and research activities.

The new Astec Centre is located close by the Dove Marine Laboratory at Newcastle University, considered a key centre for Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, which is leading research into areas such as algae biofuels. However, the prospect of state-of-the-art facilities nearby could help experts refine and expand discoveries further.

Dove Marine Laboratory director Professor Grant Burgess said: “We have several early-stage projects which we may be able to commercialise over the next 12 months. These involve growing and harvesting marine microalgae to make useful products such as omega 3 oils. Astec offers the expertise, historical track record and passion of the people involved to ensure this project is a success.”

The focus at the centre is on application of marine science to building businesses and creating jobs. This complements and builds on current marine biotechnology programmes at the Dove and will considerably strengthen the region in this growth area.

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