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.
As 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:
- Road mapping to identify new research directions and technologies
- Develop multi revenue streams from biomass for improved economic viability
- Food and Feed application development
- Bioproduct application development
- Biofertilizer/soil Amendment and biostimulants application for soil and plant health
- Restorative and eco-industrial rural development
- Develop agronomic strategies for algal production
- Develop a genetic toolbox and metabolic engineering techniques for commercially relevant organisms
- Develop metabolic engineering techniques for improved industrial characteristics
- Optimize economically viable harvesting, processing, and storing technologies
- Life Cycle and Technoeconomic Analysis of algal production
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.