EUROPE- Leading a consortium of top industry and research partners working in the blue economy sector, the Submariner Network recently launched a major innovation project to develop, test and scale up new sustainable products from algae.
The AlgaeProBANOS project will be funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and will span four years, with a budget of over €12 million (US$ 12.89 million).
The project will focus on leveraging the unique properties of algae to create new, high-value products and services for various applications, especially in feed ingredient manufacture.
Algae are an incredibly versatile and sustainable resource that can be cultivated easily without fresh water, arable land, or added fertilizers and pesticides.
The project will directly contribute to the Blue Mission BANOS lighthouse initiative- which engages and supports stakeholders across the Baltic and North Sea toward achieving a circular blue economy.
“We are super excited to be embarking on this new Baltic and North Sea lighthouse project which is among the largest EU-funded algae projects. Only a decade ago, the cultivation and use of algae in Europe were very much at the research stage,” Angela Schultz-Zehden, managing director of the Submariner Network, said, speaking from the project launch event in Berlin.
The project leaders recognized that many large-scale industry players are highly interested in algae as a new bio-resource to improve the environmental footprint of their products today.
“AlgaeProBANOS will make a big contribution to mainstreaming the use of algae in very different industries throughout Europe, making it an everyday commodity for future generations,” Angela added.
This initiative falls under the EU’s Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters initiative, which aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement, and blue investments.
Through this project, the 26 partners and affiliated entities of the AlgaeProBANOS consortium will work towards accelerating networks and digital solutions to support algae businesses.
They will do so while running six business pilots across the Baltic and North Sea region, utilizing both micro- and macroalgae for applications in food, feed, nutraceuticals, textiles, cosmetics, and plant biostimulants.
The project aims to bring eight innovative algae-based products to market, thereby meeting the growing demand for high-quality, ecologically friendly, bio-based goods.
Additionally, the partners will work directly with consumers to raise awareness and ensure new products meet end-user demands and trends to ensure the social, environmental, and economic sustainability and circularity of the algae sector.
Moreover, AlgaeProBANOS brings together universities and research institutes with start-ups, SMEs, and industries and innovation, training, and entrepreneurship experts from ten European countries across the Baltic and North Sea region and beyond.
These partners are pooling a wealth of expertise and resources to support the goals of Mission Ocean while positioning Europe’s algae industry to thrive.