Supporting the Algae Foundation Now Easier Than Ever With New AmazonSmile Link

May, 24 / 2018

Turn Your Amazon Purchases Into Support For The Algae Foundation’s Algae Academy

Today the Algae Foundation has launched an initiative with AmazonSmile to support the Foundation’s K-12 STEM project, The Algae Academy, and reach even more students through the algae outreach program.

AmazonSmile is an Amazon service that allows a buyer to donate a portion of their purchase to a charity/non-profit of their choice.  The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but contributions through AmazonSmile can add up quickly for a project like ours,” said Tiffany Cannis, Vice Chair of the Algae Foundation. “This is an easy, hassle-free way for the industry to support the Algae Foundations’ goals to inspire the next generation of Algae researchers, scientists and engineers. Anyone who orders from Amazon can donate this way, and it is especially effective when

 organizations who purchase goods through Amazon choose to do so through AmazonSmile with the Foundation selected as their charity of choice.” 

The Algae Academy provided 48 Algae STEM Kits to middle school classes in California, Michigan, and Ohio last year.  In 2018, our goal is to provide 150 kits to middle and high school classrooms nationwide.  Each kit serves up to 150 students and is provided completely free of charge to teachers.  In order to continue to serve our schools and engage students in algal education, we need to raise $20,000+ annually.  Our AmazonSmile proceeds will help us meet this annual goal.

To contribute to the Algae Academy, visit: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-2312083, log in, and select the Algae Foundation as your non-profit of choice.  Then make purchases on AmazonSmile like you normally would.

ABO Secures Unprecedented $136 Million For Algae and Related Projects — Deadlines Approaching

May, 24 / 2018
ABO’s ongoing work in Washington, DC, to educate Congress and federal agencies on the importance of robust algae research, development and demonstration has resulted in the release of an unprecedented series of funding opportunities for algae. Deadlines for letters of intent are fast approaching.
 
Four major algae funding opportunities totaling up to $136 million are now open for applications. The requests for applications (RFAs) come from three different offices across multiple federal agencies and represent the largest wave of potential algae funding in a decade. But hurry, letters of intent for these opportunities are due as soon as May 30.
 
This funding is the direct result of ABO’s work in Washington. This work would not be possible without your support of ABO and the Algae Biomass Summit.
 
 
 

Available Opportunities:

 
BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million): This multi-topic FOA from BETO seeks to develop highly efficient conversion processes for improving the affordability of fuels and products from biomass and waste streams. Awards for between $1 million and $2.5 million each. Letters of intent are due by May 30, 2018. Full applications are due by June 27, 2018.
 
Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems (up to $15 million): This research funding opportunity from BETO seeks proposals in two areas to improve the cost-competitiveness of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts. Awards for between $1.5 million and $2.5 million each to industry- and academia-led consortia. Letters of intent are due by May 30, 2018. Full applications are due by June 27, 2018. 
 
 
Novel Methods for Making Products from Carbon Dioxide or Coal (up to $13 million): This FOA from the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy seeks to develop novel, marketable products using carbon dioxide or coal as a feedstock. Projects are sought for technologies that show: a positive life-cycle analysis; the potential to generate a marketable product; and significant advantages when compared to traditional products. Application closing date is June 25, 2018.
 
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (up to $80 million): This RFA seeks from the USDA seeks approaches that will improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansing of the bioeconomy through novel animal, crop, and forest products and supporting technologies. Letters of intent are due by June 27, 2018. Full applications are due by October 10, 2018.

ABO Internships Available for Summer and Fall of 2018

May, 22 / 2018

Students – Are you interested in doing more for your industry while completing your degree? Help define the algae sector of today and shape the industry of tomorrow as an Algae Biomass Organization volunteer virtual intern. 

Internships of 8-12 weeks are available and are completely online. Interns serve a vital role by assisting ABO with industry and policy research, social media and communications. Interns leave their experience with a new understanding of the interconnections between research, industry, government and policy, along with exciting new insights and connections. 

Intern positions available for summer and fall of 2018

Individuals interested in the ABO volunteer virtual internship program should send a brief cover letter and CV or resume to Barb Scheevel, bscheevel@algaebiomass.org.

Algae Is on A Roll in Congress

May, 21 / 2018

At the beginning of 2018 nobody would have expected that the algae industry was about to go on a roll in Congress.  The Trump administration proposed big cuts in bioenergy research across the board, and Congress was looking at huge tax cuts that would need to be funded.

Yet all the angst in the bioeconomy community obscured at least one surprising trend: The nascent algae industry had built up surprising support from all quarters, and it was about to go into action.

The first hint started with the two-year budget bill signed by President Trump in February that included new carbon capture initiatives, followed by bipartisan support for a bill to codify algae cultivation into American agriculture, which, in turn, set the table for an appropriations bill that allocated millions for algae R&D, including some increases over last year.

Spurred on by members of Congress interested in supporting algae operations in their own districts, a new breed of savvy tech entrepreneurs, and the members of the Algae Biomass Organization, the United States is still part of the global race to develop algae technologies that can deliver solutions for everything from food production to low-carbon energy.

Here’s how the supporters of algae put their imprint on policy in the first few months of 2018:

A Big Tax Credit for Carbon Capture and Use

The February spending deal was a last-minute effort to avoid a government shutdown, and when it came together one of the winners was the algae industry’s long-time interests in carbon capture and use. The agreement included a provision to establish a $35 per ton tax incentive for carbon captured and recycled from power plants or industrial facilities using algae or other biologically-based CCU systems. 

Known as the Section 45Q Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) tax credit, this incentive to capture and reuse greenhouse gases was previously only available to geologic storage and enhanced oil recovery projects.

CCU supporters not only got their new applications to qualify, they also saw the rate increase from $10/ton to $35/ton, and extended it for 12 years.

And in a nod to the future, Congress allowed air capture facilities to qualify, meaning that even the most aspirational plans to suck CO2 directly out of the air now have policy support in the United States.

Expanding the universe of carbon dioxide sources that could qualify for the 45Q tax credit had support from both Republicans and Democrats, with early sponsorship coming from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), as well as the entire Congressional Algae Caucus.

And, as usual, Algae Biomass Organization members from red and blue states formed much of the grass-roots support from across the ideological spectrum.

The Algae Agriculture Act Brings Algae into the Mainstream

Any high-tech industry of similar size would have been considered the 45Q credit a victory of the year. For algae supporters, it was only the beginning of a plan to position algae for success in the future, and in the near-term.

Less than two months later a group in the House introduced the Algae Agriculture Act, a bill that would lay the first groundwork for algae cultivation to become a mainstay of American farming.

With sights set on the upcoming Farm Bill, the Algae Agriculture Act would push the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support algae much as it does other crops. Among the goals:

Prioritize algae R&D for agriculture: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s core R&D funding program, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, would see its priorities updated to include algae and its applications in agriculture. The same would apply to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture, which supports innovative science in food and agriculture challenges.. Additionally, a USDA Algae Research Program proposed by Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2) would boost R&D for algae cultivation in ecosystem support, nutrient management, soil heath, rural manufacturing and on-farm applications.

Bring carbon revenue to rural areas: The bill would give rural electric cooperatives explicit eligibility for (CUU) projects that grow algae, introducing a new revenue source for farm communities in nearly every state.

Crop disaster assistance for algae: The USDA would be directed to begin planning for a program that could insulate algae cultivation from natural disasters — much like any other crop – to help algae farmers attract more investment and make expansion plans. 

Like the 45Q credit, the Algae Agriculture Act also enjoys support from a broad political spectrum. Introduced by Democrat Scott Peters (CA-52), the bill has so far attracted sponsorship from Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6),Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-1), and Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17).

Unlike the 45Q credit, the Algae Agriculture Act isn’t yet law, and we’ll be watching closely how it changes as Farm Bill discussions continue.

Millions More for Research

The Algae Agriculture Act would put algae on course to make its mark on the American farming economy, but algae’s supporters in Congress and members of the ABO were also working to give the industry a boost in the near term.

Just days after the Algae Agriculture Act was introduced, a new spending bill was passed that directed millions of dollars into algae research and commercial development, with the first jolt of funding expected to come as early as this summer.

Specifically, the bill directs:

  • $30 million for algae R&D to come from the Department of Energy’s Biotechnology Office
  • $12 million for carbon use and reuse technology development within the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy. Remarkably, this is a 20% increase over last year.

A new CCU tax credit and a long-term plan to bring algae into the agricultural mainstream would be feathers in the cap for any corner of the vast bioenergy sector, but to also score an immediate funding increase demonstrates that the advocates for algae have a plan. They are making it happen by winning support from members of Congress of all stripes who see algae’s potential to provide jobs, economic value, as well as food and energy security.

What’s Next? More Algae, Everywhere

It is clear that algae is going to have an interesting year. One question that everybody is asking: who will be in a position to take advantage?

One clear theme in all of these policies is that they are largely product-neutral. Some of the DOE support does target biofuels, but the policy language acknowledges that the same technologies will be useful in developing algae co-products in food, nutrition, materials, water treatment and dozens of other markets.

The CCU credits incent algae production for almost any use, and the Algae Agriculture Act supports every market for algae biomass, and even on-farm services that algae can provide.

The success of the product-neutral policy approach is already bearing fruit. Recently there has been an explosion of algae applications on the market, many of them made possible by the technologies developed with the same policy strategy we are seeing take shape in 2018. Except, this time, the policy support is even more wide-ranging.

As a result, we can expect advanced algae cultivation to continue its expansion. Algae biomass is going to become more available than ever before, and that means even more product applications.

It’s clear that as new spending enters the R&D pipeline, and as the new Farm Bill comes together, any company in the business of food, nutritional products, animal feed, energy and countless other products would be wise to open a corporate division on algae.

After all, despite some stiff headwinds, this crop of the future continues to win supporters on its march into the mainstream.

 

$78 Million Announced for Bioenergy Research Funding–Algae Included!

May, 14 / 2018

This month the Department of Energy announced two funding opportunities of interest to ABO members that will support early-stage bioenergy research and development under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office:

  • BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (up to $28 million): This multi-topic FOA seeks to develop highly efficient conversion processes for improving the affordability of fuels and products from biomass and waste streams.  BETO anticipates funding 14-28 awards for between $1 million and $2.5 million each.  Letters of intent are due by May 30, 2018.  Full applications are due by June 27, 2018. The FOA seeks early-stage research proposals that cover several topics pertaining to conversion processes: 
    • Innovative catalysts for thermochemical processing
    • New biological approaches for higher conversion efficiency
    • Novel bio-based products that outperform conventional materials (e.g., plastics, polymers, etc.)
    • Conversion of wet organic wastes to biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower
    • Conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to make fuels and products
    • New processes to break down lignin and synthesize higher value biofuels and bioproducts
  • Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems (up to $15 million): This research funding opportunity seeks proposals in two areas to improve the cost-competitiveness of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts. BETO anticipates funding 6-10 awards for between $1.5 million and $2.5 million each to industry- and academia-led consortia. Letters of intent are due by May 30, 2018. Full applications are due by June 27, 2018. Topic areas include: 
    • Increase the productivity of algae by improving uptake and conversion of waste CO2emissions, such as from a power plant or industrial facility
    • Develop new, affordable technologies to capture CO2 directly from ambient air to enhance algal growth

Learn more about these opportunities, and others, at the BETO Funding Opportunities web page. 

Exclusive Super Early-Bird Rate for the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit

May, 11 / 2018

Additional $100 Discount Expires In Seven Days!

The Algae Biomass Summit is entering its 12th year and we want to make a special deal available to those that already know the value of the largest algae conference in the world.
 
Register for the Summit by next Thursday, May 17 and we’ll take an additional $100 off the regular early bird rate!

This is the lowest rate we will offer for the 2018 Summit, so don’t miss out.

Use discount code: SUPERALGAE

You can enter your code on the check-out page of the registration process.

Register Today!
 
ABO members save even more!

Become an ABO member TODAY, or renew your 2018 membership by logging into the membership portal at: www.algaebiomass.org

See you in Houston!

Algae’s Big Winning Streak in DC – How to Take Advantage

April, 26 / 2018

Algae is on a roll in Congress. Despite a challenging fiscal environment, the latest federal spending bill passed by Congress includes new funding for algae R&D that will be available in FY2018 and, for the first time, tax credits for algae-based carbon capture and use (CCU). New proposals to boost algae agriculture and further speed deployment of CCU technology are also gaining steam. Policy experts at the heart of these and other efforts to boost algae and related technologies offer a detailed look the latest developments, implications for algae research and the algae industry, and what you can do to keep things rolling. Join us for this exclusive insider conversation.

When:

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Dial-in Info:

Register via the link below to receive dial-in information before the call.

This call is free for ABO members. Non-members can participate for a $100 fee.
 

Register Now

Presenters:

  • Matt Carr, Executive Director, ABO
  • Aaron Goldner, Energy Policy Advisor, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Anaïs Borja, Legislative Assistant, Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA)
  • Tim Peckinpaugh, Partner, K&L Gates 

Policy Topics:

  • Appropriations: The spending bill passed in March included $30 million for the Department of Energy’s Biotechnology Office to advance algae R&D, with at least 50% targeted for university or university-led consortia. It also added $12 million for carbon use and reuse R&D within the DOE’s Fossil Energy Office. Learn how this funding will be made available.
  • Carbon Capture and 45Q: In February, Congress passed a $35 per ton tax incentive for carbon captured and recycled from power plants or industrial facilities using algae or other biologically-based carbon capture and use (CCU) systems. Learn how projects can take advantage. 
  • Algae Agriculture Act: With the recent introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 by a bipartisan group of legislators ABO is working to make algae a new pillar of American agriculture. Learn how this bill can increase R&D at the USDA, provide algae crop insurance, and more.
  • USE IT Act: Also introduced with bipartisan support, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research by amending EPA authority and the permitting process for CO2 infrastructure.

 

Register Now

Algae Gets Big Boost in House Farm Bill

April, 18 / 2018

An amendment from Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2nd) establishing a USDA Algae Research Program has been adopted in H.R. 2, the comprehensive 5-year Farm Bill just approved by the House Agriculture Committee in a party-line vote.

If enacted, this provision would provide a major boost to investment in research and development of algae as a sustainable source of food and feed, biofuels and biomaterials, and as a solution for carbon capture, soil health, nutrient management, and other on-farm applications.

A big thank you to Rep. Dunn, as well as to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway for including the amendment in his package of recommended bill amendments.

 

Call for Young Researchers: 2018 Algae Biomass Summit

March, 29 / 2018

If you are a student, postdoc or early career professional interested in algae and algae-based technologies, the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) would like to invite you to our 2018 Algae Biomass Summit, the world’s largest algae conference.

This year’s summit will be in the Woodlands, Texas, just outside Houston, October 14-17, 2018.

Come and learn about recent technological advancements and innovative research in a wide range of algae-related topics including algae biology, nutrition, feed innovation, energy production, water treatment, carbon utilization, commercialization and more.

Present your work as a poster or platform presentation. Students and first year postdocs are welcome to participate in our annual ABS Young Researcher Poster Competition with cash prizes.

Learn about the Algae Foundation $500 student travel grants to support students’ and postdocs’ attendance to the summit. The deadline to apply for this grant is April 15, 2018.

During the summit, visit our Young Innovators Lounge (YIL), a space designed to explore career options and connect with experienced researchers and industry leaders in the algae sector.

Join us in making algae a renewable and sustainable solution for our future!

Robin Gerlach, Program Chair

Brent Peyton, Program Co-Chair

Learn more about what we can do with algae, visit http://allaboutalgae.com

For more information about the conference contact bscheevel@algaebiomass.org

For more information about the Young Researcher Poster Competition contact Everett Eustance (everett.eustance@asu.edu)and Adriana Alvarez De La Hoz (alvar353@umn.edu).

For more information about the Algae Foundation’s Travel Grants contact bscheevel@thealgaefoundation.org.

The Potential of Algae in Agriculture and Carbon Capture

March, 28 / 2018

Last month ABO’s executive director Matt Carr briefed attendees of the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference in Washington, DC on the potential that algae has to become a leading crop of the future.

The potential of algae goes far beyond biofuels, with a number of efforts underway to put algae in everything from food to soil amendments to water treatment systems. 

Among the details in Matt’s presentation was this slide showing that  algae’s average biomass yields far exceed many traditional crops:

The productivity of algae farming is clearly impressive, but so is the sustainability profile. Since algae can grow on marginal lands, and in water that is unsuitable for traditional farming, the impact of algae cultivation on the environment is much lower than with many other crops.

And on the question of carbon emissions, algae farming can’t be beat when it comes to fighting climate change:

In fact, some recent research has shown that large-scale algae cultivation could even play role in reversing climate change: 

Algae grow extremely fast, and need enormous quantities of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. This makes them ideally suited to consume the carbon dioxide emitted from power plants or other processes before the gas escapes into the atmosphere. It also means that areas with large carbon dioxide supplies might be well-suited to grow algae.

The distribution of coal-fired power plants and ethanol production facilities in the US indicates what regions might have the largest quantities of CO2 available for local algae production:

You will notice one state with particularly good carbon resources for algae production: Texas. In fact, the entire Gulf Coast offers some ideal conditions for algae farmers across a number of variables: carbon supplies, climate and water. 

As the leaders of the algae industry gather near Houston this year for the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit this regional potential will be a big topic of discussion. 

These are just a few of the dimensions of algae cultivation that point to a future of more algae farming in the United States. As the technology advances and more products based on algae become available, ABO expects that future maps of the United States will show an entirely new kind of agriculture providing jobs, energy, food and other products more sustainably then ever before.