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OLHAO, Portugal

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.2-02 | Award Amount: 7.15M | Year: 2013

The overall goal of the project is to develop a robust scientific and technological basis for substan-tiating strategic and technical decisions for the industrial development of high-value products from algae. This shall contribute to develop this new and sustainable resource for market. The concept of the proposal is strictly oriented to the value chain of microalgae. Starting at the very end of the value chain the proposal picks up a concrete application of high market relevance. The main tar-geted application is the use of high purified omega 3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) as building blocks in modern oleo chemistry to gain high value products for nutrition and pharmaceutical applications. These applications will define specifications that propagate backwards along the various value-adding stages of the value chain. These stages include biology, cultivation technology and down-stream technology. So the aim of this project is to realize a concrete exemplary value chain, de-velop the technical interfaces between the different value adding stages and investigate the still open research aspects on every single stage while addressing the needs of the value chain as a whole. Finally, an integrated processing, combining all technical steps, will be implemented for demonstration. A comprehensive and holistic sustainability approach will complement the scientific and commercial advances on each value-adding stage. A consortium with 6 companies and 3 research institutes will integrate state of the art science and technologies in order to assemble a complete process from feedstock production and harvesting to oil extraction and purification. Innovative technologies will be combined taking advantage of a complimentary partnership with the best available expertise in the sector in Europe. These pro-cesses will be evaluated for their sustainability and scaled-up from lab to demonstrative prototype level.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.58M | Year: 2012

We are a Trans-European partnership of 6 SMEs from 5 EU Member States planning to develop a novel bio-fungicide to treat common grapevine fungal diseases. Across Europe, the fungal diseases downy mildew and botrytis cause problems in all vineyards, reduce yield and impair wine quality. Current methods of treating these diseases in traditional farming and particularly organic farming require the use of copper fungicides. However, their use is now limited in Europe by Council regulation (EEC) No 2092/91. This limits the efficacy of fungicides, decreases yields and increases wine production costs. Our innovative microalgae plant protection product enriched with micronutrients will enable the replacement of copper fungicides in organic and conventional viticulture, increase yield in organic vineyards by up to 30% and decrease production costs per unit by up to 20%. This will increase the competitiveness of EU wines and support the development of the organic market in Europe. Within 6 years of project completion and after 5 years of marketing our product, we anticipate a 16% share of the fungicide market for our primary application (treatment of downy mildew and Botrytis in grapevines) which will be sales of an estimated 52 million.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2012

The generation of young biotechnologists is of paramount importance for Europes future. PHOTO.COMM will train primarily early stage researchers who have demonstrated high ambitions and talents in a unique platform based on emerging technology and science that would shape the forefront of future European biotechnology. PHOTO.COMM involves the utilization of microalgae for the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into chemicals and fuels, to directly replace finite fossil fuels and products. Although this is a rapidly growing industry, true societal impact cannot be expected until larger-scale production of low value end-products becomes a commercial reality. PHOTO.COMM has the primary objective of generating the next-generation scientists that will make a substantial and potentially game-changing contribution towards this global challenge. The young researchers will be trained in multidisciplinary science and innovation-based business creation to foster a new approach to microalgae based production and the use of synthetic photobiological communities. The researchers will also strengthen the core of photobiological metabolism by innovative approaches to enhance photosynthesis and carbon-assimilation and deliver new approaches to create valuable end-products. PHOTO.COMM will provide an exciting environment where the young researchers will absorb and implement state-of-the-art analytical methods, intellectual property and business principles and obtain extensive training and practical experience in close collaboration between universities and companies. Altogether, the educated next-generation scientists and their technologies are expected to make a strong contribution towards a future Europe in which both economically and environmentally sustainable photosynthetic biotechnology is a main supply of commodities and energy.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

Photofuel studies and advances the biocatalytic production of alternative liquid transportation fuels, which require only sunlight, CO2 and water. Microbial cells directly excrete hydrocarbon and long chain alcohol fuel compounds to the medium from which they are separated, without the need to harvest biomass. This significantly improves the costs and energy balances as only a minimum of nutrients is required for self-replication of the biocatalyst, whilst cell harvesting, drying and lipid extraction is omitted. Such minimum-input systems are compatible with operation on degraded or desert land which avoids the pitfalls of most of the currently available biofuel technologies. The products are drop-in fuels that fully or partially replace their fossil counterparts without the need for new infrastructure. To set a benchmark for alternative solar fuels, three research groups will collaborate in the advancement of the biocatalysts from TRL 3. The best biocatalytic system(s) will be up-scaled and operated outdoors in photobioreactors modified for direct fuel separation at a scale of several cubic meters (TRL 4-5). The identification of optimal future fuel blends with a fossil fuel base and Photofuel biofuels as additives, as well as the analysis of performance and emissions in car or truck engines, will be evaluated by the oil- and automotive-industry partners. The entire pathway will be assessed for environmental and economic performance as well as social acceptance of large scale production in rural communities and by the consumer. All results will be combined to a business development plan, which clearly identifies the opportunities but also the challenges prior to an economic fuel production in compliance to the EC Fuel Quality Directive.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.2-02 | Award Amount: 10.08M | Year: 2013

The D-Factory aims to set a world benchmark for a sustainable biorefinery based on biomass from halophilic microalgae. Representing the largest (100s ha) of current commercial cultivation technologies for any microalga, Dunaliella microalgal biomass production uses raceways and lakes, and will be expanded with biorefinery concepts by drawing in European innovations in key biomass processing technologies: supercritical CO2; high performance counter-current chromatography; and the use of membranes, to produce carotenes and other bioactive compounds, emulsifiers and polymers. Combining this force with world-renowned expertise in the biochemistry of Dunaliella (Ben-Amotz) we will tailor the productivities of strains sourced by the Marine Biological Association for biorefinery requirements and add to the mix, experience in constructing and using the two most advanced systems for cultivating microalgae: a series of photobioreactors developed by A4F Portugal - currently scaled-up to the largest size in the world, 1.100 m3, and open raceways by NBT Israel - 10 ha in operation for \ 30 years. Novel harvesting technology will be developed based on spiral plate technology and ultramembrane filtration. Within 36 months we will be ready to showcase a sustainable D-Factory demonstration in Europe. Designs, flowsheets and integrated schemes along with sustainability assessments (technological, environmental, economic and social) will produce benchmarks for a wide range of products and paths. These will be used in the D-Factory business case developed by Hafren Investments to raise investment for the first prototype D-Factory in Europe. The D-Factory demonstration is scheduled to be operational in 48 months. It will reach stakeholders across the globe via an Innovation Platform and will serve as a robust manifestation for the business case for global investment in algae biorefineries and in large-scale production of microalgae using photobioreactors, algal raceways and lakes.

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