Funding Opportunity for Algae from the US Department of Agriculture

July, 29 / 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is supporting algae like never before, thanks to a new Farm Bill that gave algae farmers everything from new crop protections, to support for advanced R&D and commercialization. This month the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced a funding opportunity from its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program that could be of interest to ABO members. 

Algae is specifically mentioned as eligible in at least two topic areas:

Aquaculture, which funds “research projects with the overall goal of leading to improved production efficiency and increased competitiveness of private sector, commercial aquaculture in the United States.” This topic area includes a wide range of subtopics that can qualify for funding, and algae is one of them:

Algal Production Systems. Novel or innovative approaches to improve the efficiency of algal production and feedstock logistics including identification of new (or improved) species with improved nutritional profile for use in aquaculture feed, human food, or food supplements; development of improved bioreactor technology; and development of new methods for harvesting algal biomass.

Biofuels, and Biobased Products, which promote “the use of non-food biobased products and biofuels by developing new or improved technologies that will lead to increased competitiveness of value-added products from agricultural materials.” These technologies can include New Non-food Biobased Products from New Industrial Crops, and New Processes for the Manufacture of Industrial Products, Chemicals, or Biofuels. Algae is among the range of technologies that can qualify for funding. 

Other areas of the opportunity may also be open to algae farmers, technologies and product developers.

Get the full details at the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Closing date for application is October 23, 2019.

Algae Biomass Summit Orlando, Florida September 16-19, 2019

ABO Membership Discounts Available Now

July, 27 / 2019

ABO’s Membership Drive is underway and we are offering great discounts for new and existing members that want to be part of the algae revolution!

Help us recruit new members and get:

— Discounts on your Corporate or Individual membership rate

— Discounts for any new members you bring to ABO

Here are the details:

Corporate Level Members:

  • Existing corporate level members will receive a 20% discount on their 2020 membership for signing up new corporate level members.*
  • Each new corporate member you recruit will also receive a 20% discount on their 2020 membership.

Individual Level Members:

  • Existing individual level members will receive a 20% discount on their 2020 membership for signing up new individual level members.*
  • Each new individual member you recruit will receive a 50% discount on their 2020 membership.

Start Recruiting Now! Offer Expires on November 15th, 2019

Ready to sign up a new member?

Contact ABO’s Barb Scheevel today at 877.531.5512 ext. 1, or email her at bscheevel@algaebiomass.org

New members do not need to be coming in at the same level as the current member. The new member must complete payment by November 15, 2019. Following payment by the new member, the recruiting member will be invoiced for membership at the 20% discounted rate. Payment must be completed by December 31, 2019.

*Each new member will receive the new member discount. Recruiting members will only receive a single discount to their membership rate.

You Can Still Submit a Poster for the 2019 Algae Biomass Summit! Get $100 off Summit registration

July, 19 / 2019
Poster submissions for the 2019 Algae Biomass Summit are still being accepted! If you are a student or a first-year postdoc, the Algae Biomass Organization also invites you to participate in our Young Researcher Poster Competition at the Summit.
 
Prepare a great poster, highlight your work, and earn the chance to receive one of our awards with cash prizes! Submit your poster abstract here. 
 
All accepted posters will also qualify for a $100 discount on Summit registration!
 
Once you have your abstract under review, you can register for the conference, and submit for the competition by August 16th. Check out the evaluation rubric in our Poster Presenter Guide.
 
For more information on the poster competition contact: Hannah Goemann and Adriana Alvarez De La Hoz at hannah.goemann@montana.edu alvar353@umn.edu

New Summit Panel: Algae in Food and Feed Going Mainstream

July, 15 / 2019
The world needs new sources of nutritious food that can be produced without harmful impacts on ecosystems. Find out how companies are using advanced algae technologies to sustainably produce high-performing proteins, carbohydrates, and oils at the 2019 Algae Biomass Summit in Orlando, this September 16-19.
 
Check out the speakers set for the Summit’s new panel, Algae in Food and Feed Going Mainstream, below.
 

Algae in Food and Feed Going Mainstream
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 
 
Moderator: Jill Kauffman Johnson, Head of Global Market Development, Corbion Algae Ingredients
 
 Vidar Gundersen, Global Sustainability Director, BioMar (first aquaculture feed company to utilize algae at scale in fish feed)
 
Beau Perry, CEO, Blue Evolution (producing macroalgae for food markets)
 
 
 nbo4 logo square
 
 
Todd Hansen, CEO, NBO3 Technologies (producing algae-based feed for beef and pork)
 
 
Sebastian Goycoolea, CEO, BluGlacier (distributor of algae-fed salmon in the US)
 
 
 
 
 

Register for the Summit today, or check out the full agenda to see who else will be speaking at the world’s largest algae conference!

A New Cookbook that Brings Algae to the Table

June, 26 / 2019

IKEA’s research and design laboratory, known as SPACE10, released this month a new cookbook that looks to close the gap between the trends shaping the future of food, and what people actually want to eat. Algae is naturally a key ingredient. 

Future Food Today is a collection of recipes that acknowledges growing global populations are going to be demanding more food and that existing production systems simply can’t keep up. Algae, which grow incredibly fast without the pressures on freshwater or farmland of traditional crops, are an ideal way to meet those demands around the globe without adding additional sustainability pressures. 

The book features recipes for algae chips, using spirulina as an ingredient in a variety of dishes (including a bright green hot dog bun), and even some inspiration to grow your own algae at home. 

Algae is not the only new ingredient some of the recipes explore. Insects and other alternative protein sources are also options for the adventurous cook.

“Some of the recipes call for ingredients you may not have seen before, others are good old kitchen classics. We wanted to engage as many people as possible in this conversation, from well seasoned gourmandes to aspirational foodies. It really is a book for everyone, as long as you have a curious mind and have an interest in exploring a more sustainable future,” said Simon Perez, SPACE10’s Chef and Food Designer.

Learn more about the book at SPACE10’s website. 

Dozens of researchers, designers, entrepreneurs and investors are working to put algae on the table as global populations grow. Algae may be one of the only crops of the future that can satisfy our need for new protein without degrading valuable ecosystems. 

Ready to become part of the solution? Join us at the Algae Biomass Organization, or come to the Algae Biomass Summit to meet the leaders of the algae revolution. Now is the perfect time to become involved with a movement that is redefining agriculture, energy, and countless other industries. 

Algae Gets a More Level Playing Field with the Financing Our Energy Future Act

June, 19 / 2019

Financing new technology development can be challenging, and even when a technology becomes commercially viable there can be roadblocks for investors that seek to quickly capitalize on the latest advances. That’s why ABO is supporting legislation that can level the playing field for algae companies that don’t currently qualify for many of the tax advantages enjoyed by the fossil energy industry.

This month U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) and Ron Estes (R-KS-04) re-introduced bipartisan legislation, the Financing Our Energy Future Act, that would allow clean energy companies to form master limited partnerships (MLPs). MLPs are operated and taxed as partnerships but can also be publicly traded, and offer investors liquidity, limited liability and dividends.

For decades, only companies that get their revenues from fossil energy extraction or pipeline projects have been permitted to form MLPs. By combining the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships, these ventures have been able to more easily attract and deploy capital.

Expanding the scope of MLPs could significantly accelerate investment in clean energy projects, including algae cultivation that uses carbon capture for the production of fuel, oils or other valuable products.

Mark Allen, Chair of ABO’s board remarked: ““The Financing Our Energy Future Act will open up the master limited partnership tax-advantaged corporate structure to investors ready to finance the growth of renewable energy, carbon capture and utilization, and other vital low carbon products being deployed by the algae industry. The members of the Algae Biomass Organization thank Senators Coons and Moran, and Representatives Estes and Thompson for their leadership in introducing the Act in the 116th Congress. Allowing MLP’s to bring new capital to industry innovation and growth will help create jobs and enhance our energy and environmental security. Algae-based clean technology companies look forward to competing on the level playing field this bill will help ensure.”

In the Senate, the Financing Our Energy Future Act is cosponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Carper (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

Read more about this important legislation here. 

Tour a Carbon Capture and Algae Cultivation Demonstration at the Summit

June, 7 / 2019

Take this rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a carbon capture and algae cultivation demonstration at the 2019 Algae Biomass Summit.

Summit attendees can now register for a tour of the Orlando Utilities Commission’s Stanton Energy Center, a multi-fuel power plant that is home to a DOE-supported project capturing waste carbon dioxide emissions for algae cultivation.

Tour attendees will be able to:

  • See the latest CO2 capture technologies
  • View algae operations growing biomass for a variety of uses
  • Learn about valuable technical lessons, including production levels, biomass composition, CAPEX, and more.

We are offering two opportunities to take this valuable tour:

Monday, Sept 16, 2019
7:30am-11:30am
 
Thursday, Sept 19, 2019
12:45pm-5:00pm
 
 

Leveraging Federal Funding Opportunities for Technology Development

May, 30 / 2019

Are you committed to commercializing new algae technologies? It’s time to get ahead of federal funding opportunities.

Algae cultivation, production and processing technologies have come a long way over the past decade. Successfully funding these innovations has been largely due to some dynamic collaborations between entrepreneurs, universities, national laboratories and federal agencies supporting cutting-edge technology advances and the economic benefits that can come with them.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s recently announced $79 million opportunity is one example of how federal support for R&D projects is propelling a new ecosystem of algae products and services. Other agencies working to improve the role of algae in the bioeconomy include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration.

And beginning in 2019, the Department of Agriculture is preparing to offer millions in new funding to support the algae industry, thanks to a dramatic change in the latest Farm Bill advocated by ABO.

Now is the time for algae technology developers to explore these opportunities. We connected with some of our most experienced members and consultants to build a set of guidelines that can set more algae research projects on track for federal funding.

“Starting early may be the single most important step,” says Tim Zenk, principal at Molecule and a consultant with years of experience helping algae companies collaborate with federal agencies.

These guidelines are not exhaustive, but if you’re thinking of engaging with federal funding, they are some of the most important to keep in mind:

Start building relationships early

  • The DOE, USDA and other funding agencies have dedicated staff that are designing and awarding technology development grants. They can be incredible resources for those that might apply for funding. Find out who is staffing the programs of interest and introduce yourself.
  • Most funding opportunities are won by wide-ranging collaborations between several partners working together. Seek out and connect with the universities and national labs that you might be able to partner with for a proposal. Take a look at some of the previous winners to see what models have worked in the past.

Have your data in good shape

  • Agencies are tasked with supporting the most worthy projects, and they will need to see rigorous data in your proposals. Make sure your science is sound, and that your engineering is ready for review.
  • In most cases you will need more than theory. You will have to show what production experience you’ve had so far, or what scale of operations you are ready for today.

Know the funding announcements inside and out

  • Make sure you understand the overarching goals behind the funding opportunities, and how you can help meet them.
  • Some proposals are rejected because they fail to address small but crucial requirements that are spelled out in the funding announcement. Comb through the text and graphics provided by the funding agencies to ensure you can meet the appropriate production targets, design qualifications, etc.
  • Look at the specific collaborators and other parties that are mentioned in the funding application materials. Find out what laboratories or other entities might be expected to participate and build them into your own network.

What to expect if you win an award

  • Congratulations! Collaborating with a federal agency is a big responsibility, but there is no reason it should be overwhelming.
  • Be ready to meet tight deadlines. Funding opportunities are built to meet goals around technology improvement, commercial production and economic development. There are hundreds of players and working with agency staff to get the timelines right will be important.
  • You won’t have to share sensitive IP or trade secrets (unless otherwise clarified in the application process), but some information you share with agencies will be made public. Find out what comments, emails and reporting could be released.
  • Be ready to meet reporting requirements. They won’t be overwhelming, but they are an important part of the process. Agencies want you to be successful, but lessons of unexpected results or even failures will be viewed as valuable.

If you don’t win

  • Don’t be discouraged. This is a competitive process and agencies take care to evaluate and select the most worthy projects. Find out what you can do to make a stronger case the next time around.

“Follow the rules, have good science, and you’ll have a good shot,” says Zenk.

Ready to learn more?

ABO maintains a network of experts, consultants and contractors that are all standing by to help algae technology developers succeed when it comes to taking advantage of federal support. Reach out to get connected!

Ready to connect with the leaders of the algae industry? Come network with CEOs, federal agency staff, industry suppliers and others at the Algae Biomass Summit!

Algae Biomass Summit Orlando, Florida September 16-19, 2019

ABO Members Win Small Business Grants to Advance Algae Technology

May, 28 / 2019

Members of the Algae Biomass Organization are at the forefront of advanced technology development, and many of them are also small businesses with enormous potential to create new jobs and help grow the economy. Toward that goal, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced this month up to $22 million in grants for several small business innovators to advance the next phase of their research.

The grants come from DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and ABO member companies were among the recipients:

Algenesis logo

Algenesis Materials, based in Cardiff, CA, was awarded one grant to develop biodegradable polymers made from algae to produce athletic shoes and flip flops, and then identify methods that can control the biodegradation of the shoes for maximum function.

Global Algae Innovations, Inc., based in San Diego, CA and creator of the industry-leading Zobi harvesting system was awarded two grants. One will be used to develop an ultra-low-cost plastic pond liner that could have enormous impacts for the commercial algae industry, and another for technologies that can control temperature throughout the year in open ponds for algae production.

MicroBio Engineering, based in San Luis Obispo, CA will use their award to build and demonstrate a fully automated laboratory microalgae cultivation system with over a dozen individual reactors. The advances will help increase production and reduce costs for algae that can be used for biofuels, animal feeds, and other bioproducts. 

These Phase I grants provide up to $200,000 each, and awardees will be eligible to apply for Phase II grants of up to $1 million next year. 

Congratulations to these ABO members! Want to learn more about these projects? Leaders from these companies will be at the 2019 Algae Biomass Summit in Orlando, September 16-19. 

You can learn more about these DOE grants and other awardees at the Green Chemicals Blog

Ready to learn how you can prepare to take advantage of federal funding opportunities? Read these guidelines to get started. 

 

Algenuity Launches New Food Color Platform Based on Chlorella

May, 23 / 2019

ABO member Algenuity announced this month that is has launched its ground-breaking Chlorella Colours platform for the food industry. The new colors are made possible by innovations in strain development that result in both performance and production improvements for ingredients that are used in everything from foods and drinks, to supplements and other products. 

Natural and sustainable color ingredients for food products are often difficult to produce, or suffer from performance problems when it comes to odor and taste. Algenuity has overcome these challenges by developing a strain that contains almost no chlorophyll, but retains the valuable color attributes that are in demand in markets for vegan, protein-rich, or whole-cell ingredients. 

Chlorella Colours’ yellow, lime and white hues can also be produced with heterotrophic production methods, so they don’t need sunlight to grow. This means they can be made in controlled conditions that overcome some of the operational challenges that come with producing pure algae-based products at scale. 

Read more about Chlorella Colours here.