--> Seagriculture Conference USA 2022 speaker: Marc von Keitz

Seagriculture Speaker

Seagriculture USA

7 - 8 September 2022

Portland, ME, USA

Using seaweed to benefit the climate – an impact funders perspective 

Marc von Keitz, Director, Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, USA


About the speaker:

At the Grantham Foundation, Marc is supporting the development of innovative climate solutions, with an emphasis on ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies, through direct investments and grantmaking. Before joining the Grantham Foundation, he served as a program director at ARPA-E launching and managing a diverse portfolio of energy and climate-focused funding programs, including the MARINER program. Other professional experiences include work as a consulting engineer, management of the central bioprocessing facility of the University of Minnesota, as well as founding and leading an industrial biotech startup.  He studied biology and chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe (KIT) and INSA Toulouse and obtained an M.S. and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, respectively.


Company info: 

The Grantham Foundation is a private charitable foundation with a mission to protect and improve the health of the global environment. The Foundation seeks to raise awareness of urgent environmental issues and supports individuals and organizations to find solutions. Over the last several years, the Grantham Foundation has funded an extensive portfolio of projects focused on breakthrough technologies to drastically reduce emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.


Presentation:

In the last few years, seaweed cultivation has received a lot of attention as a promising new tool for carbon capture and sequestration. The early enthusiasm has been followed by closer scrutiny of the potential challenges and limitations for seaweed-based approaches to achieve climate-relevant scale at a cost-competitive with other carbon removal technologies. This presentation will attempt to sort through the sometimes contradictory information to chart a path forward from the perspective of a climate motivated funder/investor.


Keywords: 

seaweed, carbon capture, impact investment

Interview: 

1) This year the Seagriculture conference comes to the USA for the first time. How important is this for the US seaweed scene?
Since attending my first Seagriculture in The Hague in 2017, I had been hoping and encouraging to bring the event across the Atlantic.  Seagriculture USA has the potential to bring together and grow the community of seaweed scientists, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from not just the US, but from all across the Americas.

2) What is your favorite seaweed?

I love canopy forming kelps, especially Dragon kelp (Eualaria fistulosa), which grows abundantly in Alaska, but my favorite seaweed to eat is Caulerpa lentillifera, commonly known as sea grapes or green caviar.  It looks beautiful and pops in your mouth.

3) What will you be talking about at Seagriculture 2022 in Portland?

Two years ago, seaweed burst on the scene as a potential super tool for carbon sequestration. Since then a lot of sceptical and contradictory information has been published about seaweeds potential climate benefit. In my presentation, I will try to put some of this emerging information into context and share where I see critical growth opportunities from the perspective of a climate-focused impact investor. 
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