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Petter Stordalen, left, with Blue Lice team members Gry Løkke, Karoline Sjødal Olsen and Lars-Kristian Opstad. Photo: Private.
Petter Stordalen, left, with Blue Lice team members Gry Løkke, Karoline Sjødal Olsen and Lars-Kristian Opstad. Photo: Private.

A start-up company which claims to have devised a revolutionary method of tackling sea lice has yet to reveal how its technology will work - but there's no doubting its ability to attract investment.

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Blue Lice - which is developing a device to catch lice before they reach fish cages - has been awarded funding of NOK 2 million (£200,000) by Norwegian hotel chain tycoon Petter Stordalen.

The funding comes on top of NOK 2 million that Norwegian firm Blue Lice received from a local investor network in Oslo in the summer.

Strawberry-million

Blue Lice was among six finalists to present their grand ideas in Stockholm in the final of Stordalen's entrepreneurial competition, Strawberry-million, and last week it became clear that the Blue Lice concept was one of the winners. Stordalen, who owns Nordic Choice Hotels through his Strawberry Hospitality Group, found it impossible to pick just one winner. He instead decided to pick two of the nominees, one of them Blue Lice, and invest NOK 2m in each of the companies.

Blue Lice has not yet revealed anything about the technology behind its product, but in late August said that it will soon stand ready to conduct a full-scale pilot test for validation. It said it had already completed prototype testing of the unit in Stavanger earlier this year, with good results.

The company featured in the “Innovation Showcase” at the Aquaculture Innovation Summit in London in late September.

Unique solution

Blue Lice chief executive, Karoline Sjødal Olsen, a marine engineering graduate, explained in August that the system consists of a device positioned outside the salmon cage. This has several components that attract lice away from the salmon.

“There have been tests carried out on similar concepts with some of the factors previously, but it is the combination of these that makes our solution work and makes it unique. Some attraction factors are known and some unknown to the industry,” she said.

The other winner of the competition was the company Bike Finder, which has made a GPS stick that is attached inside the wheel of the bike, allowing the owner to track it. The transmitter also has a built-in siren that goes off if the bike is stolen.

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