ABO and EABA share member benefits

August, 5 / 2020

US-based Algae Biomass Organization and the European Algae Biomass Association have agreed to renew their partnership that extends the member benefits of each organization. 

As the leading algae trade associations for the US and Europe, ABO and EABA will be recognized as a Supporting Organization for each other. The two organizations have also agreed to collaborate to further the development of the algae industry and associated technologies in the U.S., Europe, and globally through events, conferences, policy advocacy, and collaboration.

Among the expanded benefits the agreement brings to members of both organizations:

  • Shared calendars of events, meetings, and conferences for both organizations.
  • Members of each organization can register for the other’s events, conferences and meetings at the member-only rates.
  • Information exchange between ABO and EABA, shared with members

EABA members: contact ABO’s Barb Scheevel (bscheevel@algaebiomass.org) to get your member rate to the Algae Biomass Summit!


ABO Members Awarded DOE Support for Bioenergy Research and Development

August, 4 / 2020

On July 31 the Department of Energy announced more than $97 million in funding for 33 projects that will support high-impact technology research and development to accelerate the bioeconomy. Several algae projects were awarded a total of more than $21 million, funding that was made possible with bi-partisan support in Congress

ABO corporate, academic and student members represented many of the awardees:

Global Algae Innovations, San Diego, CA
Production of Algae Biofuel and Bioproducts with CO2 Direct Air Capture
Scale-up of Novel Algae Drying and Extraction Unit Operations

Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Transforming High pH/High Alkalinity Cultivation through Beneficial Microbiomes and Improved Pond Design

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
ASU’s Polymer-enhanced Cyanobacterial Bioproductivity (AUDACity)

University of California – San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Biomolecular Films for Direct Air Capture of CO2

MicroBio Engineering, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA
Microalgae Commodities Production with a Direct Air Capture Process

Lumen Bioscience, Incorporated, Seattle, WA
Alkaline Carbon Capture and Expression-Streamlined Spirulina Cultivated in Air for Reliable Bioproducts, Oil, and Nutrition

Duke University, Beaufort, NC
Development of High Value Bioproducts and Enhancement of Direct-Air-Capture Efficiency with a Marine Algae Biofuel Production System

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Process Optimization and Real-Time Control for Synergistic Microalgae Cultivation and Wastewater Treatment.

Utah State University, Logan UT
Synergistic Municipal Wastewater Treatment Using a Rotating Algae Biofilm Reactor.

Many of these awardees will be represented at the virtual Algae Biomass Summit. Register today to begin collaborating with the leaders of the algae agriculture revolution.

Biofuels Digest reports on all of the awards here.

See all of the selected projects here.

The virtual Algae Biomass Summit kicks off next week!

August, 4 / 2020

On Wednesday, August 12 ABO will be hosting the first of our Industry Spotlight sessions that will kick off the virtual 2020 Algae Biomass Summit. The new virtual format of the Summit should make this event very attractive for anyone with an interest in algae agriculture.

Abstracts for posters and even a few speaking opportunities are still being accepted.
Why attend the virtual Summit?
We have recast his important event to make it easier to participate, collaborate, and learn about everything that is happening in algae research, commercialization, product development and more.
New pricing: The Summit’s lower rates this year will make it easier for anyone to discover the latest innovations, trends, and opportunities.

A new agenda: One ticket provides access to 100+ speakers, virtual tours, poster presenters, an online trade show, career development workshops and much more.

A longer schedule: The Summit’s meetings will stretch over several weeks, and every presentation will be recorded for later viewing.
Enhanced networking with Whova: The Summit’s award-winning mobile app (Whova) is designed to make virtual networking a prime feature of the event. Attendees can use advanced matchmaking, start private chats, monitor group discussions, schedule virtual meetups, participate in photo contests or event games, and much more.

A new exhibitor experience: A virtual tradeshow will include exhibitors offering video demonstrations, live Q&A chats about their products and services, special promotions made available only to Summit attendees, and more.

Virtual tours: The Summit’s virtual tour series will include video demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies that are being deployed into the market, as well as a live Q&A sessions with tour leaders.

Keep connections going: The Summit’s recorded program and app will be available to attendees long after the event concludes. Review presentations, reach out to new connections, and discover anything you may have missed the first time around.

Algae based polymers get a boost in latest DOE funding for small business R&D

August, 3 / 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced last month that it will fund 49 new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects across 23 states, totaling nearly $53.4 million in funding.

Among the projects is Algenesis Materials, a California company that is is developing biodegradable polymers made from algae. They will produce products that meet commercial specifications and meet new sustainability standards. The DOE’s press release has more details.

Polymers and other advanced materials made from algae will be a topic of one of the virtual sessions at the 2020 Algae Biomass Summit. On Tuesday, August 18 the session titled Algae Based Polymers will feature leaders in commercialization of algae-based polymers as well as from researchers from national labs who are developing technologies to accelerate the expansion of acceptability of these polymers into various applications, including foams, resins, adhesives and coatings.

View the Summit agenda here.

Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy: Algae

July, 28 / 2020

A new report is required reading for those serious about developing new algae technologies, products, and ultimately deploying algae agriculture to create a more productive and sustainable economy.

The Algae Interagency Working Group (AWG) is a collection of federal agencies coordinating a range of activities on algae R&D supported by the United States government. They operate within the Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Board,  which coordinates research and development activities concerning biobased fuels, products, and power across federal agencies.

BR&D’s new report, the Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy: Algae, contains a wealth of information on the breadth and scope of federal resources available to researchers and companies seeking to understand and use algae for the benefit of the bioeconomy.

Details include a number of new sources of funding that are available, clarity on regulatory issues facing those developing new products, and information on how stakeholders can engage with the AWG moving forward.

Download the report from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

A number of federal officials will be making presentations at this year’s virtual Algae Biomass Summit. They will be on hand to discuss federal programs that can support algae, as well as commercialization projects.

Some of the Summit sessions with speakers from federal agencies include: 

  • Managing Carbon Dioxide Utilization for Algae R&D on Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Macroalgae Biomass: A Sustainable Feedstock for Food, Feed, Fuels and Chemicals on Tuesday, August 25, 2020
  • Managing Production Risk Through Crop Insurance on Tuesday, September 1, 2020
  • The Food and Feed Keynote and Plenary Panel on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
  • The Ecosystems Services Keynote and Plenary Panel on Wednesday, September 9
  • The Biofuels and Biomaterials Keynote and Plenary Panel on Thursday, September 10
  • The ABC’s: Algae, Biofuels and Cars panel  on Thursday, September 17

See the Summit agenda for full details.

Register for the Summit today and access these and dozens of other presentations. All Summit content will be recorded for later viewing, and the Summit’s mobile app offers uniques opportunities to engage and collaborate with attendees.

Building An Algae Center of Excellence

June, 30 / 2020

ABO is putting its weight behind establishing an Algae Center of Excellence to create connections between industry partners, academic institutions, and government agencies to accelerate commercialization of algae products and services. 

Algae Center for Excellence iconAs a follow up to the significant win for the algae industry in the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill), where algae is included as a crop, members from ABO’s Future of Algae for Food and Feed and their stakeholders have laid out the next steps in launching an industry wide Algae Center of Excellence.

The purpose of the Algae Center of Excellence (ACE) is to accelerate development, scale up, and commercialization of innovative, sustainable and eco-restorative solutions for the production of food, feed and bioproducts from algae.  The 2018 Farm Bill included an Algae Agriculture Research Program in its “High Priority Research and Extension Initiatives” to address challenges in commercial-scale algae production and to support development of algae-based agriculture solutions. The ACE aims to facilitate efforts among the scientific and business disciplines to tackle the significant research objectives and commercial deployment challenges that cannot be addressed by any one discipline alone.

The ACE proposal highlights the need to collaborate and advance the industry in a way that will break through the current barriers in global growth. In particular the proposal identifies 12 proposed activities within the Algae Center of Excellence that be showcased as areas for development. These are:

  1. Road mapping to identify new research directions and technologies
  2. Develop multi revenue streams from biomass for improved economic viability
  3. Food and Feed application development
  4. Bioproduct application development
  5. Biofertilizer/soil Amendment and biostimulants application for soil and plant health 
  6. Restorative and eco-industrial rural development
  7. Develop agronomic strategies for algal production
  8. Develop a genetic toolbox and metabolic engineering techniques for commercially relevant organisms 
  9. Develop metabolic engineering techniques for improved industrial characteristics 
  10. Optimize economically viable harvesting, processing, and storing technologies 
  11. Life Cycle and Technoeconomic Analysis of algal production 
  12. Support consumer research and marketing

The Algae Center of Excellence will include a Steering Committee, Technical Advisory board, and Industry partners that will all work to ensure that the objectives of the Center are relevant to commercialization and will result in growth of the industry as a whole. For further detail on ACE and the full proposal click here.

Currently, members are looking to build upon this vision and are looking for partners who are motivated to help launch the Center. For more information or questions about ACE please reach out to Algae for Food and Feed committee member Jesse Traller, jessetraller@globalgae.com.

You can also learn more about this effort at the Algae session at ABLC 2020 on July10 at 11am ET.  And for a broader view of the algae industry, be sure to attend the Annual Algae Biomass Summit, including the annual Algae for Food and Feed meeting, that takes place virtually from August 12-October 2.

ABO’s Policy Priorities Continue Forward Momentum

June, 29 / 2020

ABO’s work to build a supportive regulatory environment that can advance algae technology development saw some encouraging developments this past month, especially on our carbon utilization priorities:

New tax credit guidance for carbon utilization was announced by the Treasury

On the regulatory side, the Internal Revenue Service released a new set of regulations for the Section 45Q tax code that can award a federal investment tax credit of up to $35 per ton for carbon utilization with algae. A 60-day comment period on the regulation is now underway. Read more at K&L Gates’ Global Power Policy & Law blog.

The Senate is exploring carbon markets at the USDA

On the policy side, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would put the regulation of agricultural carbon markets in the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill is supported by ABO, and would build upon the algae industry’s coordination already underway at USDA in the wake of the most recent Farm Bill. That legislation established algae as an officially recognized agricultural crop in the United States for the time. Read more at the National Law Review.

The Department of Energy awarded up $6 million to advanced algae carbon capture projects

In funding news, ABO’s work to build robust support for cutting-edge research and development funding paid off with an announcement from the Department of Energy that two algae carbon capture projects would receive up to $6,000,000 in funding to move forward. Read about the awardees at Biomass Magazine.

ABO also voiced support for legislation on biofuel tax credits, $26 billion for academic research, and green infrastructure incentives:

ABO’s policy work will be a hot topic of discussion at the virtual Algae Biomass Summit, beginning August 12, 2020. Register for this online event today to get involved.

Working With Algal Oils? The AOCS Annual Meeting Kicks Off Virtually on June 29

June, 26 / 2020

Algae can be a excellent source of sustainable oils for countless markets: fuel, feed, food, cosmetics and more. On June 29 those studying how oils from algae are making an impact in our lives can discover some of the latest innovations at The American Oil Chemists’ Society’s Annual Meeting & Expo. The event is free to attend will feature presentations and insightful sessions about the latest trends in fats, oils, proteins, surfactants and related materials.

AOCS has been a long-time partner of ABO, having worked closely with our Technical Standard Committee and on other initiatives.

More than 40 virtual exhibitors, including ABO, are also featured during the event. Be sure to check us out!

More information about the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting can be found here: https://annualmeeting.aocs.org

And don’t forget to explore the full algae opportunity later this Summer at the virtual 2020 Algae Biomass Summit. We will feature deep-dives into market opportunities, technical sessions, career development workshops and more.

European Commission Adopts Food Sustainability Strategy, Highlights Algae

June, 2 / 2020

In May, the European Commission adopted two new strategies as part of the European Green Deal that proposes ambitious actions and commitments to reduce biodiversity loss and transform the food system to improve human health, planetary sustainability, and the food supply chain. The food system strategy is called Farm to Fork (F2F), and specifically calls out algae as part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve food sustainability. The strategy document can be found here.

Excerpts include:

“[The Commission] will examine EU rules to reduce the dependency on critical feed materials (e.g. soya grown on deforested land) by fostering EU-grown plant proteins as well as alternative feed materials such as insects, marine feed stocks (e.g. algae) and by-products from the bio-economy (e.g. fish waste).” (page 8)

“[The Commission] will also set out well-targeted support for the algae industry, as algae should become an important source of alternative protein for a sustainable food system and global food security.” (page 10)

The inclusion of algae in the EU’s sustainability strategy is a milestone for an industry that has quickly advanced scientific and technical breakthroughs into commercial applications that can improve global food systems. Visit this page for more information about the EU’s F2F strategy.

A New Board Chair and a New Chapter for ABO

May, 31 / 2020

By Mark P. Allen, P.E.

This month ABO’s Board of Directors welcomes Jill Kauffman Johnson, Head of Global Market Development, Algae Ingredients at Corbion as our new Chair. Jill brings exactly the kind of experience in science, product commercialization and public policy that can take this industry into the next chapter of development.

Jill Kauffman Johnson

For the past two years, I have served as Chair of ABO’s Board of Directors, and it has been incredibly rewarding to have a front row seat to all this organization is doing to advance algae as a new sustainable technology platform.

When ABO was first founded, much of the conversation was about the potential for algae to revolutionize biofuel markets. That work is still going strong, but perhaps the greater impact of this industry has been the hundreds of other applications that blossomed as the fuel work was underway. Jill’s work with Corbion developing algae-based omega-3s for salmon feed and other products is a leading example.

Mark Allen

ABO is now welcoming a diversity of members from aquaculture, animal feed, human food ingredients, soil health, wastewater treatments, materials, clothing, plastics and more. All of them are finding ways for algae to be a sustainable source of products and services. It is an explosion of diversity few of us anticipated when we opened ABO for business 15 years ago.

Many of these new possibilities can be traced back to cutting-edge research and development projects sponsored by federal agencies. That research was conducted at universities, national laboratories and in collaborations between private entrepreneurs and publicly supported partners. It is a technology development model that has been successful in other sectors, such as in the early days of the internet, and it is now paying dividends for the algae industry as well.

Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy have been able to drive this research largely because of the Congressional support that was built early on when ABO helped organize the Congressional Algae Caucus. This bipartisan group of elected officials recognized that a robust algae industry could be a great asset to the United States’ economic, environmental and energy security.

ABO’s voice has helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for advanced R&D, and more support is on the way. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now making algae farming a priority, and an interagency working group is coordinating research underway at a growing constellation of federal agencies.

What comes next will push algae into an even larger world of collaboration and innovation. Today, ABO is working with a coalition to establish an Algae Center of Excellence (ACE). ACE is designed to facilitate coordination and funding among companies, researchers, investors, farmers, product developers and other stakeholders that will accelerate and broaden commercialization of algae products in areas of food, feed, biomaterials, soil health, wastewater treatment, and beyond. ACE will help unlock a market potential for algae that could exceed $300 billion by 2030.

We will explore much of that market potential at the upcoming 2020 Algae Biomass Summit, which is being re-tooled into a virtual experience that will welcome a global audience. This year a series of Industry Spotlights sessions will kick off the Summit and explore how algae is impacting food markets, polymer production, carbon capture and more. They will be valuable sessions for anybody interested in harnessing the potential of algae.

It has been a pleasure to see the arc of a new technology being deployed into the world. ABO has been diligent from the beginning, and has become a vital voice for the algae industry. For those looking to become involved from a scientific, technological or commercial perspective, ABO has become an indispensable point of contact.

I am honored to have had the chance to serve as Board Chair, and even more honored to pass the torch to Jill. She has been a part of the algae technology arc throughout her own career, and will be an invaluable resource for ABO members as we enter the next phase.

I thank every ABO member that is working at every junction of this exciting industry. As a result of your support, we are well positioned to sustain a rapid pace of growth.  Keep up the good work.

Mark P. Allen, P.E.
ABO Board of Directors
Vice President, Accelergy