Big news from Arizona-based Heliae, a developer of a platform technology that uses sunlight and low-cost carbon feedstocks to produce high-value products from algae. Based in Gilbert, Ariz., Heliae is leveraging its core production technology into four target markets: personal care, nutrition, therapeutics, and agrosciences.
Yesterday, they announced a partnership with Japan-based Sincere Corporation, a waste management and recycling company, to form a joint venture and develop a commercial algae production facility in Saga City, Japan. The venture will combine Sincere Corporation’s operational skill, distribution networks and knowledge of the Japanese market with Heliae’s proprietary algae production technology to supply natural astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant with broad health benefits, to the growing health and wellness market in the region.
This is yet another example of two trends we’re seeing take greater hold in the algae industry: the production of valuable commodities other than fuel and an increasing willingness of international corporations and governments to invest in algae technology.
Both developments reinforce the promise of algae to help address a growing problem – access to food and human health products at a time when climate change is impacting our ability to grow crops and when fresh water sources are growing more scarce.
Heliae’s success is a welcome sign that algae technology can be a long term solution for our nation’s (and others!) food, agriculture and health markets.