AQUACOMBINE (Integrated on-farm Aquaponics systems for co-production of fish, halophyte vegetables, bioactive compounds, and bioenergy) is a consortium of 17 European partners coordinated by Aalborg University. The project started in October 2019 and will run for four years.


The partners involved are:

Aalborg University

Is the project coordinator and lead in WP1, 3, 6, 12 and 13. AAU will develop optimised extraction methods for bioactive compounds in lignified biomass. AAU will also identify the chemicals and analyse the bio-activity of halophyte extract fractions and isolate the pure components. CEL assist in optimizing the extraction processes at pilot scale. Throughout all the work packages AAU will collaborate will all partners.

The AAU team consists of:

Mette Hedegaard Thomsen

Associate Professor and Project Coordinator

Charlotte Fonseca Holmene

Administrative Project Manager

Allan Stensballe


Marco Mashietti

Associate Professor

Malthe Fredsgaard

Ph.d. student

Rocco Giordano

Research assistant

Tanmay Charturvedi

Assistant Professor

Laura Hulkko

Ph.D. student

Julaine Tania Enas

Laboratory technician

Lulea Tekniska Universitet

Will be leading WP4, where they will develop methods for purification and stabilisation of HCAs.

The LTU team consists of:

Paul Christakopoulos

Chair Professor

Ulrika Rova


Leonidas Matsakas

Associate senior lecturer

Io Antonopoulou


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover

LUH will leverage their expertise in studying the physiological status of plants and analyse halophyte cultivation patterns. They will lead WP2. RSR and LDM will also provide support and collaboration to LUH in growing Salicornia Europaea.

The LUH team consists of:

Jutta Papenbrock

Dr. rer. nat., Professor

Johann Hornbacher

Master of Science

Ariel Turcios

Master of Science

Hochschule Bremerhaven - University of Applied Sciences

BHV lead WP10, where the techno-economic analysis for Aqua Combine will be performed and a business plan will be developed based on inputs from all partners. 

The BHV team consists of:

Axel Gottschalk

Prof. Dr. -Ing.

Sanketkumar Raval

Tutku Tasci Cilak

Sylvia Fasse

Universite Catholique de Louvain

UCL will research on extraction and purification of protein, lipids hemicellulose sugars from green halophytes, by leading WP5.

The UCL team consists of:

Iwona Cybulska

Assistant Professor

Arrutia Rodriguez

Hochschule Flensburg - University of Applied Sciences

FUAS will lead WP9 by developing and scaling up of processes for the conversion of residual fractions from extraction processes into biogas (from carbohydrates) and biochar (from lignin).

The FUAS team consists of:

Hinrich Uellendahl


Universidade de Aveiro

UAVR with work alongside CIIMAR and RSR on developing fish feed formulation in WP7. UAV will also assess DNA integrity, DNA-damage repair and anti-oxidant defences of fish and shrimp fed with halophyte-supplemented diets.

The UAVR team consists of:

Mário Guilherme Garcês Pacheco

Prof. Doutor

Patrícia Kowalski

Sofia Guilherme


CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigacao Marinha e Ambiental

CIIMAR will work closely with RSR and UAV on WP7 in developing experimental diets for European seabass and shrimp feed formulation. CIIMAR will assess the immune condition and inflammatory response of fish and shrimp fed with halophyte supplemented diets.

The CIIMAR team consists of:

Benjamin Costas

PhD in Animal Science

Sergio Fernández Boo


Ana Couto

Ana Adelaide Fonseca Garcia


Celabor SCRL

CEL assist AAU in optimizing the extraction of non-polar bioactive compounds and targeted HCAs at pilot scale as part of WP3. They will also assist with anti-elastase, anti-collagenase and anti-tyrosinase spectrophotometric assays as part of WP6.

The CEL team consists of:

Sebastien Cajot

Manager of Food Technologies at Celabor

Stéphane Kohnen

Organic chemist

Mahmoud Hamzaoui


Envirohemp SL

ENV will provide collaboration in WP9 by applying pyrolysis combined with chemical activation and/or template methods to the organosolv lignin fraction (provided by LTU) for the production of carbonised bio-based materials (aka biochar).

The ENV team consists of:

Jordi Plana Pallejà

R&D Quality Technician

Jon Solar Irazabal

Eduardo Segura

Riasearch, LDA

RSR is a R&D driven company which runs its own state of the art aquatic research facilities to conduct feed trials to the aquafeed industry sector. RSR role in AQUACOMBINE project is to provide salicornia biomass (WP2) and lead WP7 for the development and testing of halophyte based aquafeeds targeting European seabass and shrimp. Within WP7 Riasearch will work in close collaboration with CIIMAR and UA for the evaluation of the halophyte based aquafeeds regarding zootechnical performance, immune condition, oxidative stress an phytochemical profile of the fish and shrimp.

The RST team consists of:

Renata Serradeiro


Adriana Laranjeira

André Barreto

Alpha Aqua A/S

Alpha Aqua will design and construct the a combined Aqua-culture and Salicornia Europaea cultivation system as part of WP11.

The ALA team consists of:

  • Johan Højgaard, CEO
  • Ramón Pérez, COO

The ALA team consists of:

Johan Højgaard


Ramón Pérez


Les Douceurs du Marais

Organically produced Salicornia Europaea will be produced at LDM farm. The produced biomass will be sent to WP3 and 5. The biomass will also be used in the production of functional dairy products.

The LDM team consists of:

  • Corinne Lucas, biological engineer

DK Beauty A/S

DKB will lead the efforts in WP8 by testing the cosmetic and functional food (dairy products) formulation with halophyte whole extracts and isolated compounds including production scalability.

The DKB team consists of:

Bjarke Dam

CEO and co-owner at DK Beauty

Carsten Børge Nielsen

Head of production & R&D, co-owner at DK Beauty

Thise Mejeri AmbA

THD will work closely with DKB on WP8, in collaboration with AAU in formulating dairy products (yoghurt and cream cheese). THD will also investigate the feasibility of scaled food production and perform specific test runs as a pilot scale.

The THD team consists of:

  • Poul Pedersen, CEO
  • Per Godsk Nielsen, CFO
  • Anne Berg Olsen

Food-Processing Initiative E.V.

FPI will provide its expertise and leverage its professional network in accomplishing the goals of WP12. A dedicated Workshop will be organised to disseminate and validate AQUACOMBINE outcomes at the end of the project, which will be led by FPI.

The FPI team consists of:

Norbert Reichl

Dipl. Volkswirt and CEO

Sabine Höfel

Project manager

ADRAL – Agencia de Desenvolvimento Regional do Alentejo SA

ADRAL will work closely with FPI and AAU on WP12 to ensure the application of the developed halophyte extracts and compounds as a food ingredient are in compliance with EC. They will also help in assessing the future marketability of the new feed/food ingredient, and establish close collaboration with consumer panels and clarifying consumer perception with regard to adding the compounds in cosmetics and foods.

The ADRAL team consists of:

Daniel Janeiro

Filipe Galego



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 862834. Any results of this project reflects only this consortium’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.