Funded by HIT RESET Caribbean (with €300,000) and implemented by Atom Solutions Inc. in partenrship with Rum & Sargassum Inc., Barbados-based companies providing biofuel solutions to the transportation and energy needs of Barbados, SarGASsum will set up the country’s first biofuel service station, and develop a mobile app that predicts Sargassum seaweed biomass influx patterns into the island’s exclusive economic zone.
Utilising cutting-edge technologies and harnessing the power of data analytics, the Sargassum biomass prediction app “will empower coastal communities, environmental organisations, and local authorities to plan and implement effective strategies in safeguarding our precious marine ecosystems”, said Dr. Legena Henry, the Rum & Sargassum Inc’s CEO and Founder, at the launch of the project (9 June 2023). She recalled its importance, as “the result of Sargassum is seen in poor health outcomes in our coastal regions, impacted marine life, shifts in tourism, and strained coastal ecosystems”.
(Dr. Legena Henry, CEO of Rum & Sargassum Inc.)
This pilot project, which will run for 18 months, aims to leverage the potential of Sargassum-based biogas, a clean and renewable energy source, in order to reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels while fostering a circular economy by utilising organic waste materials.
“We’re trying to encourage indigenous innovation. (…) We need to find solutions that are novel, unique and for which we own the intellectual property”, stressed Dr. Graham King, UWI HIT RESET Caribbean Team Lead and Director of the UWI (University of the West Indies) St Augustine Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
The SarGASsum project is backed by a €300,000 research grant from the Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Support Resilient Settlements on the Coastal Zones of the Caribbean initiative, or HIT RESET Caribbean initiative.
HIT RESET Carribean is implemented in Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago and coordinated by UWI, in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency and Anton de Kom University of Suriname.