MIRACLES for microalgae industries

[EU] An EU-funded project is developing the technology to grow micro-algae for the purpose of making industry more sustainable.

The single-celled plants are already used in the health foods industry due to their natural oil, protein antioxidants and enzyme products.

Micro-algae are a water-dwelling species that grow in abundance whilst using few resources. Just 9,200 tonnes are harvested worldwide each year for food and feed, according to the EU’s Joint Research Centre – which is only a fraction of its potential.

The MIRACLES project (Multi-product Integrated bio-Refinery of Algae: from Carbon dioxide and Light Energy to high-value Specialities) is developing the technology for supporting viable and sustainable microalgae-based industries, particularly in SMEs. MIRACLES will run until October 2017 wherein the technologies could cover potential exploitation in growing, harvesting and processing, as well as in food and non-food applications.

Project co-ordinator Hans Reith of Wageningen University, the Netherlands’, said: “We are interested in developing this technology because of its potential. There are some obstacles that stop current technology being scaled up, and we have to prove we can use algae in consumer products. The commercial partners give us an end-user perspective.”

MIRACLES is a consortium of 26 stakeholders involving three biotech and aquaculture companies, ten research institutions and 13 SMEs.

The project is funded through the EU’s predecessor to Horizon 2020 – the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) – and will continue to advance its technologies to make the production and processing of micro-algae technologically and commercially feasible.

Receiving funding of €11,911,245, the projects co-ordinators involve organisations from the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Norway and Chile.

Go here for further information.

 

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