San Diego’s Concentrated Algae

August, 24 / 2012

The first event of the Summer of Algae II campaign was Monday in the country’s most dense center of algae research and commercialization: San Diego.

The San Diego Daily Transcript describes just how far along the industry is in California and more about the Summer of Algae campaign. Participants at Monday’s event hailed from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB), Synthetic Genomics, General Atomics, Cellana and Sapphire Energy.

Jason Anderson, Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego, a non-profit that is working to position the region as a global leader in the cleantech economy, was also one of the speakers at the San Diego tour. In a blog post yesterday he adds some concrete examples of how regional collaborations can foster an industry as well as the local economy:

“Through a close collaboration, we have designed programs that not only support the biofuels and industrial biotech industry today, but will continue to evolve to meet industry needs as it matures.  To date, we have trained more than 300 workers and over one-third of those trained are now employed in the industry.  Just as the region’s research institutions and private sector companies continue to gain momentum and investment for their advances, EDGE’s cutting edge curricula and training programs are being considered for adoption by institutions all over the world.”

The example of San Diego shows how regional initiatives can help communities benefit from new and growing industries. The challenges that algae can address around fuel supplies, food production and water usage make it particularly attractive. Other states are already reacting to the impressive milestones that algae companies are achieving on a regular basis. Ohio and Arizona easily passed bi-partisan legislation that puts algae on equal footing with other agriculture, for example, and others are likely to follow.