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ABO building Algae Center of Excellence

July 6, 2020

Algae Center of Excellence

The ACE is envisioned as a “distributed” center, with facilities and labs spread throughout the country. Photo: courtesy ABO

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 (ACE). Their goal is to create connections between industry partners, academic institutions, and government agencies in order 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 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 activities within the Algae Center of Excellence that are being showcased as areas for development. These are:

  1. Road mapping to identify new research directions and technologies
  2. Developing multi-revenue streams from biomass for improved economic viability
  3. Food and feed application development
  4. Bioproduct application development
  5. Biofertilizer/soil amendment and biostimulants application for soil and plant health
  6. Restorative and eco-industrial rural development
  7. Developing agronomic strategies for algal production
  8. Developing a genetic toolbox and metabolic engineering techniques for commercially relevant organisms
  9. Developing metabolic engineering techniques for improved industrial characteristics
  10. Optimizing economically viable harvesting, processing, and storing technologies
  11. Life Cycle and Technoeconomic Analysis of algal production
  12. Supporting consumer research and marketing

The Algae Center of Excellence includes 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.

According to this Committee, “The ACE will engage academic, National Lab, and industry communities across diverse fields of biology, agronomy, chemistry, engineering, nutrition, and economics.

“A primary objective of ACE is to facilitate the interactions of this diverse set of 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 is envisioned as a “distributed” center, with facilities and labs spread throughout the country – including universities, government laboratories and private companies – all working in close collaboration, coordinated by the ACE leadership team. “Having distributed collaborative research at the interface of algal biology and ecology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, food science, animal health, soil health, and economics, will allow for more rapid commercialization and development of solutions taking advantage of existing expertise and infrastructure found throughout the country,” notes the Committee.

Currently, ACE members 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, jessetraller@globalgae.com.

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