New Algae Degree Program Passes Its First Semester

May, 26 / 2017
The Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC), a collaboration among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Algae Foundation, universities, community colleges, and industry production companies across the United States, has successfully implemented the first semester of the ATEC curriculum at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
The curriculum is part of a new, two-year degree program in Algae Biology, Technology, and Cultivation, with an overall goal of preparing students to be successful in technician positions in the algal industry. 

Read more.

Remembering Milt Sommerfeld’s Legacy and Achievements

May, 25 / 2017

The algae world lost one of its great champions earlier this month. Milt Sommerfeld will be sorely missed by all in the algae space and beyond. Milt is a household name in the algae industry: he started the Laboratory of Algae Research and Biotechnology (LARB) in Arizona, which later became the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) and acts as one of the key research hubs for algae in the United States. He was also instrumental in developing the Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3), which offers third-party technology verification for those researchers looking to test out their tech.

Yet Milt’s legacy goes far beyond the labs he helped establish and the impressive research that he conducted. He touched many lives throughout his career, inspiring the next generation of algae researchers and all of those who met him with his humor, knowledge and passion.

Read about Milt’s legacy and achievements in this wonderful write-up posted by Arizona State University.

6th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology

May, 25 / 2017

ABO is a proud partner of the 6th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology taking place in Nantes from June 18th through June 23rd. 

Previous ISAP Congresses have seen the role of applied algal biotechnology and their potential developed in a commercial, remedial or regulatory context. In 2014, the theme of ISAP was chosen to reflect on the actual successes of algae applications as they already represent a sustainable and relevant field of biotechnology.

In 2017 the scope of the 6th edition of ISAP congress is to appreciate the huge phycological biodiversity and the diversity of its biotechnological applications through the prism of a new and promising industrial sector in full development. The Congress will include speakers and posters presentations, exhibitors and for the first time a BtoB session to meet the right partners.

More details can be found on the ISAP website

International Solar Fuels Conference

May, 25 / 2017

ABO is a proud partner of the 2nd International Solar Fuels Conference, set to take place July 6-10, 2017.

Hosted at the University of California, San Diego, this conference will bring together scientists working with biological and chemical approaches to utilize solar energy for direct fuel production.

Topics to be addressed as part of the conference include…

  • Artificial Photosynthesis and Photoelectrochemistry
  • Artificial and photo biological approaches
  • Materials and Molecular Science for Solar Fuels
  • Photobioreactors
  • Light Harvesting and Photochemical Charge Separation
  • Catalysis and Mechanisms
  • Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology
  • Economics and Public Policy
  • Biofuels from photosynthesis
  • Photoelectrochemistry and photobiology

More details can be found on the UCSD website

Innovation in Aqua Feed

May, 25 / 2017

We here at ABO are a proud partner of the 2017 FeedNavigator Innovation in Aqua Feed forum. Formulated feeds are an important component of the farming process for a number of key aquaculture species. But producers are no longer focused only on feed conversion in relation to fish feed R&D.

This event, taking place on June 1st, will dive into how feed experts are trying to understand the ways nutritional components affect blood chemistry, immune responses, and gut microbiota in fish. It will address how precision nutrition, the right feed formula at the specific life stage or period of the year, is an approach increasingly used in the aquaculture sector.

The FeedNavigator “forum” concept has been developed by the FeedNavigator editors to feature the most innovative and thought provoking companies and personalities in the modern animal feed industry and provide fresh insight into the issues shaping the market via a more interactive format.

For more information, visit

BioMarine 2017

May, 12 / 2017

ABO is a proud partner of the BioMarine 2017 conference, which will be taking place in October in Quebec. 

BioMarine is a unique event dedicated to marine bioresources. It is organized around a platform of meetings and discussions for industrials, scientists, investors, economic development agencies, allowing them to boost their acquisitions, investments, trade agreements, technologies transfers, and development partnerships at an international level. Its goal is to develop small, medium and national companies on the international stage.

The conference will take place in Rimouski, Quebec from October 1st-3rd. More details can be found on the conference website

USDA Announces Millions for Bioeconomy, Agrosystems Research

May, 12 / 2017

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently made a few announcements that may be of interest to research and development efforts that look to algae as a solution to agricultural challenges. ABO members are encouraged to examine and apply for opportunities that may help move their efforts forward. 

In May, the agency announced $6 million for research on the symbiotic relationship between plants and other organisms. Some ABO members are currently looking at how algae can be harnessed as a soil amendment, interacting with nutrients and other organisms already in the soil in a way that can improve crop yields, sequester carbon or result in other beneficial agricultural outcomes.

In April, the agency announced $6.3 million to study resilient agroecosystems and $9.6 million to grow the bioeconomy. Advanced algae cultivation and harvesting technologies are rapidly proving themselves to have vast potential for future agriculture. They can reduce the pressures on existing agricultural land, freshwater supplies, and can be source of high-protein, extremely nutritious food for humans and animals. 

More information about these opportunities are available in the links above. For more USDA research funding opportunities that might pertain to algae please visit: 


Algae-based fish feeds gain in the market

May, 2 / 2017

Products from algae are becoming more diverse by the day, principally due to the rapid technological innovations developed by ABO members that harness many of algae’s most valuable, and natural traits.

One type of algae is high in omega-3 nutrients that are vital to the health of all animals. Besides being an important nutrient for humans, they are also an important component of many animal and fish feeds. For some time, many omega-3 supplements in feeds have been derived from fish, which places enormous pressure on ocean ecosystems. In addition, omega-3s have experienced an increase in demand that is further raising prices and straining traditional sources.

That’s why we are celebrating the recent expansion of algae-based feeds into fish farming, specifically the news that ABO member TerraVia’s AlgaPrime™ DHA is now being used by leading aquaculture companies around the globe.

Lerøy Seafood Group, the leading exporter of seafood from Norway and the world’s second largest producer of Atlantic Salmon, recently announced the use of AlgaPrime™ DHA in their feed to enhance the sustainability and omega-3 profile of salmon.  Check out the press release,  as well as coverage on the announcement in FeedNavigator and Undercurrent News.

In addition, Ventisqueros, S.A., a leading Chilean salmon farmer, announced they are using AlgaPrime™ DHA in the feed for their Silverside™ Premium Pacific salmon.  The feed formulation developed by BioMar dramatically reduces the number of wild fish that must be harvested to produce their farmed salmon. The press release is here, as well as additional coverage including Undercurrent News and Fish Update.

These new algae-based feeds not only increase the nutritional value of the farmed fish, they are also produced with fewer land, water and other resources that come with non-algae sources of omega-3s.

At ABO we believe this is just the beginning of a new way to improve aquaculture’s sustainability and value as a food source for people around the world. We’ll keep you updated on the next milestones!

ABO Member Michael Wilson Wins Third Consecutive Sustainability Challenge Grant

May, 1 / 2017

Many ABO members are doing exciting things—in the algae space, in the sustainability space, in research, in industry, in labs and beyond. Today we would like to feature one group that has been making an impact on algae-focused technological development for many years: The Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky.

The University of Kentucky has coordinated with a number of partners on some of the most advanced algae research in the field. Projects at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research have explored photobioreactor design, carbon capture from energy production and other systesm for large scale algae cultivation and processing.

Last month, ABO member Michael Wilson received his third consecutive University of Kentucky Sustainability Challenge Grant earlier this year, which will allow him to “bring in five undergraduate students from a broad range of disciplines to create a novel interdisciplinary research program.” The program, in short, provides support for projects that bring students together from a variety of academic disciplines in order to tackle a real-world sustainability conundrum. In the past, Wilson’s teams have worked on designing a sustainable bus shelter that incorporated solar power and water collection concepts.

We will be sure to track the project as it progresses—it promises to be valuable for both students and the broader community. More details about Wilson and the grant can be found here.   

Congress Reaffirms Support for Algae

May, 1 / 2017

Funding for algae research and development gets the full support of Congress in the Fiscal Year 2017 spending deal announced by House and Senate leaders Sunday.

Algal systems research under DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office would receive another $30 million infusion with an additional $10 million for algae and other innovative Carbon Use and Reuse technologies under DOE’s Fossil Energy Office — a clear sign of Congress’ continued support for our sector’s important work.

If approved by Congress this week, the bill will fund these and other government functions through September.