Algal Innovation Centre Cambridge

[UK] There is increasing interest in the exploitation of microalgae as a sustainable feedstock for a variety of products (such as diesel, omega-3 oils, pigments, enzymes) to replace those currently sourced from fossil oil and gas, crop plants and animals.

The University has researchers from many disciplines who work on algae, in departments including Architecture, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Plant Sciences.

Algae research

The Algal Innovation Centre will address the requirement for scale-up and pilot facilities to enable translation of fundamental research and showcase technologies. It will connect the entire pipeline of algal research from strain selection and improvement, through harvesting and processing, to development of underpinning technology/engineering solutions.

This unique Centre will also meet a wider UK need; as a result of a national consultation, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has identified a need for an algal Centre of Excellence with test and scale-up facilities.

This plot has been identified within the Botanic Garden, adjacent to the existing Plant Growth Facility, for a dedicated glass house for algal innovation experiments.

The facility will be built in a freestanding aluminium cladding system on a concrete foundation and will have a gross floor area of 164m². Site preparation, including ground clearance and the removal of hedges and two small oak trees, will be required.

Start date: June 2015

Expected Completion Date: October 2015

The estimated cost of the project is £492,834, and is to be funded by the Department of Plant Sciences and the School of the Biological Sciences. The funds available to the Department include an award of £188,600 from the European Union’s INTERREG EnAlgae project, which aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in North West Europe by developing algal biofuel technologies.

Contact: Dr Matthew Davey [email protected], Department of Plant Sciences, for more information

For more information about the algae research at Cambridge see the short video below or visit our Microalgae Growth Facility page.


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