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Rosetta Green and Seambiotic Will Collaborate in the Development of Improved Algal Strains for the Biofuel Industry

REHOVOT and ASHKELON, Israel, July 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rosetta Green, a company specializing in the identification of unique genes in plants and algae for the cleantech and plant biotech industries and Seambiotic, a company specializing in the growth of algae at industrial scale, announced yesterday that they have signed a collaboration agreement to develop and test improved algal strains for the biofuel industry. According to the agreement, Rosetta Green will be responsible for the development of the strains and Seambiotic will be in charge of large scale algal growth and biofuel production.

The companies will initially focus on increasing the oil content of the algae and producing strains that can better withstand contamination. The companies have formed a joint steering committee that will be responsible for the management and operation of the collaboration. The proof of concept phase of the collaboration is anticipated to last about two years, during which the companies will explore the development of facilities for producing biofuel from algae on an industrial scale.

Rosetta Green is focused on the identification of unique genes that function as main control bio-switches; the company will make use of these technologies to develop algal strains with improved traits for biofuel production. Seambiotic is focused on industrial scale algal cultivation using flue gas from power stations to accelerate growth rate. Algae are considered the most promising feedstock for sustainable biofuel production, as they do not require arable land or potable water for growth. Additionally, algae have significantly higher biofuel productivity potential than land crops such as corn and soybean.

Amir Avniel, the CEO of Rosetta Green noted: “I am very pleased with this agreement; we have found a partner with world-leading skills who was impressed by our technologies and the large potential of Rosetta Green. This collaboration brings together two companies with unique and advanced capabilities. I have no doubt that biofuel from algae is currently the most promising potential alternative to fossil fuels. Most of the large oil companies in the world have already invested millions of dollars in the field due to its numerous advantages, especially as yields can be 300 to 500 fold higher than those of land plants. The U.S. administration has also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this area after realizing its vast potential for reducing the dependence on foreign oil.”

Numerous companies worldwide are attempting to develop engineering and biological solutions for economic and sustainable production of biofuel from algae, but the joint initiative of Rosetta Green and Seambiotic is first of its kind as it combines the unique capabilities of both companies in algal growth, processing and advanced biotechnology.

Daniel Chinn, CEO of Seambiotic adds: “The agreement with Rosetta Green is another milestone in the development of the technology to make algae the next generation of biofuel crops. This sort of collaboration which brings together leading companies from complement art fields, such as Seambiotic and Rosetta Green, is the only way to successfully meet the challenges that lie ahead in the field.”

Source: Rosetta Green

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