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Dispatch from the Algae Biomass Summit

The 2014 Algae Biomass Summit opened yesterday with more than 600 industry leaders who gathered to hear presentations by top officials from the Department of Energy, CEO’s of leading algae companies, and experts in national security, technology development and research.

Some of the days highlights:

“There’s an algae for that”

MattsKickOffMatt Carr, executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization greeted Summit attendees with a presentation that reminded the industry of the great potential algae has to tackle problems such as climate change, food supplies, as well as energy and water shortages.

Algae’s potential is so great that almost regardless of the problem, “there’s an algae for that,” said Matt as he listed the innovations and solutions that will be discussed this week at the Summit.

Follow developments at the Summit on Twitter: #ABS14

Sign the carbon utilization petition

Matt also announced that ABO has initiated a “We the People” petition

petition encouraging the White House to encourage the EPA to allow states to meet CO2 reduction goals by recycling CO2 with carbon capture & utilization (CCU) technology.

Virtually every speaker at the opening sessions acknowledged that algae’s need for CO2 is an unprecedented opportunity for utilities and other carbon dioxide emitters to think of CO2 as an opportunity rather than a problem.

You can contribute to this effort! Support common sense, market-driven, job-creating and emissions-reducing technologies by signing the petition here.

Department of Energy Announces Up to $25 Million to Reduce Costs of Algal Biofuels

During his opening keynote address David Danielson, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy announced up $25 million in funding that will be targeted toward reducing the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent by 2019.

Check out the full DOE announcement.

Updates from Industry Leaders

Biofuels Digest editor and publisher Jim Lane commented that the industry is indeed evolving when he finds himself moderating two panels on commercialization progress instead of the single panels on the topic at previous Summits.

Mr. Lane guided updates, discussion and questions from a packed auditorium with executives from Algenol, BioProcess Algae, Heliae, Matrix Genetics, Sapphire Energy, ALGIX, LLC, Cellana, Earthrise Nutritionals, Synthetic Genomics and Muradel.

The one word theme? Products. Each company reported new moves to commercialize a wide range of algae-derived products in markets with trillion dollar potentials.

MikeBreen2Saving Lives – Algae and National Security

Mike Breen, Executive Director of the Truman National Security Project provided attendees with an inspiring talk about the importance of developing renewable and domestic supplies of fuels to improve our national security.

Noting his own experience in the military protecting fuel convoys from attack, Mr. Breen told the hundreds of algae industry entrepreneurs and scientists gathered in San Diego that they have full support from his organization’s clean energy campaign Operation Free:

“Challenges of this magnitude can only be confronted with enormous innovative effort. Some might find the size of this challenge paralyzing when compared to the size of this room. But you have a duty to succeed. And I’m here to tell you that you’re not in it alone. The thousands of veterans and supporters of Operation Free are standing with you.”

Read more excerpts of Mr. Breen’s talk here.

SCHOTT and Algatechnologies Announce R&D Partnership

Natural-astaxanthin supplier Algatechnologies plans to boost algae production in a big way with new, thin-walled glass tubes developed in partnership with SCHOTT AG.

Nutritional Outlook has the story.

Media Coverage

Algae Industry Growing, Transforming in the U-T San Diego
An op-ed by ABO’s Executive Director Matt Carr and Cleantech San Diego’s President Jason Anderson

Algae as biofuels focus of summit in the U-T San Diego
by Bradley Fikes, biotechnology reporter

Algae, Will Bossie Like It? in Biofuels Digest
By Jim Lane

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