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More Highlights from ABS

October 28, 2011

Day two of the 2011 Algae Biomass Summit was highlighted by discussions about the technological advances that will be bringing innovative algae-based products and fuels into everyday life.

Presentations and panel discussions focused on the latest advances in algae biology, animal and aquaculture feed, algae processing, production and other components of the value chain for the new and rapidly expanding global algae industry.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) urged attendees during a lunchtime video keynote to build on existing technological foundations that can help bring the next generation of advanced biofuels into large scale production, like that of the ethanol industry that has become a vital part of Minnesota’s economy. Recognizing the importance of federal support for domestically produced, sustainable fuels, Senator Klobuchar told the 800 conference attendees that algae-based fuels deserve to compete on a level playing field with fossil fuels when it comes to tax policy and industry subsidies.

Also addressing the conference during the luncheon was Cynthia (C. J.) Warner, president of Sapphire Energy. Predicting an enormous spike in demand for fuel in the coming decades, Ms. Warner described that the latest technologies behind algae-based fuels, like those that Sapphire is using to begin algae production on a commercial scale, have the ability to rapidly and economically provide for future transportation fuel needs.

On Day three of the ABS, experts on environmental and economic sustainability sat down with algae business leaders to discuss the role that commercial algae products can play in meeting some of the most pressing environmental and food-production challenges facing the world today. They shared their hope for algae fuels, fertilizers and other products to help meet challenges around climate change, food production, and diminishing water supplies.

Acknowledging the importance of engaging early with the newly expanding algae industry, experts from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, the National Resources Defense Council, Future 500, Rainforest Alliance, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization discussed some of the challenges and lessons from other industries that have rapidly expanded from laboratory science to large commercial production.

Information on the event, including a full agenda is available at http://algaebiomasssummit.org.

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