It’s about breakthroughs, brainchilds, and bonanzas, and Algae Biosciences Incorporated will be adding its own voice to the buzz.
The Algae Technology Platform Americas conference will be held from Wednesday, April 11 through Friday, April 13 at San Diego’s Kona Kai Spa and Resort, with some of the leading minds from the algae industry arriving from as far away as Belgium, Germany, and Austria. The conference will begin with investors meeting developers for a full day’s worth of presentations, and wrap up with a two-day look at industry-leading technologies as well as market trends, challenges and applications.
Dr. Mark Edwards, AlgaeBio’s Vice-President of Corporate Development and Marketing, and Robert Thompson, AlgaeBio’s Chairman, will be making presentations and leading discussions at a gathering that bills itself as the Americas’ leading commercial and technological forum for algae investors, entrepreneurs, process developers, and formulators.
“This conference has a good mix of science, business, and industry,” says Dr. Edwards. “The delegates get a good picture of the industry through various businesses, technologies, and market reviews. And the interaction with investors is critical, of course, because investors enable algae projects.”
Algae Biosciences Incorporated will soon begin commercial production of its ultra-pure omega-3 fatty acid oils, sourced from marine algae and grown in abundant Arizona sunlight, at its production facilities in the high desert plains near Holbrook.
Dr. Edwards will be making a pair of solo presentations at the Algae Technology Platform Americas conference.
On Wednesday, April 11, he’ll be introducing Algae Industry Breakthroughs for 30 minutes, beginning at 11 a.m., and on Thursday, April 12, at 2 p.m., he’ll lead a 30-minute presentation entitled Market Review of Algae-Based Functional Foods Ingredients and Medicines: Antioxidants, Proteins, and Polysaccharides.
Dr. Edwards and Thompson will both be involved in a Wednesday round-table discussion called Venture Capital Opportunities for the New Start-ups and More Mature Established Companies.
Dr. Edwards’ presentation on algae breakthroughs will include: a digital-imaging particle analysis instrument; a bioreactor matrix system; AlgaeBio’s own SAGE (Sunshine to Algae Generates Energy) Solutions model, which minimizes fossil resources and energy costs in its production cycle; and Arizona State University Polytechnic’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology (AzCATI) algae test bed — the only system of its kind in the world.
“That AzCATI test bed is going to give us a lot more answers. It’ll allow us to estimate what a grower can expect in terms of yield,” says Dr. Edwards, “and that’s going to be a huge help. Without those numbers, you simply can’t get financing.”
As for Dr. Edwards’ presentation on algae-based ingredients and medicines, “they’re going to be cheaper to produce, in the not-too-distant future, than through conventional agriculture,” he says. “As the cost of fossil resources goes up, and the ability for us to produce more algae also goes up, we’ll end up with algae-based commodities that are healthier and cheaper for the consumer.”
AlgaeBio and Global Health Trax of Vista, Calif., have in place a sales and distribution contract that gives GHT exclusive rights to purchase and distribute AlgaeBio’s ultra-pure, omega-3 fatty acid oils to the nutraceutical, food additive, and animal feed markets.
Later this spring, AlgaeBio will complete a $5-million, first-phase expansion process at its production facilities, and begin large-scale commercial production of its highly regarded algal oils. The initial output of AlgaeBio’s algal oils will contain equal parts of the long-chain essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) at a blended ratio of 40 per cent.
While at San Diego, Dr. Edwards and his colleague Robert Henrikson will crown the winners of the 2011 International Algae Competition. In early March, the finalists were named in a trio of categories — Algae Landscape Design, Algae Production Systems, and Algae Foods and Recipes. More than $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded on Thursday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m.
“The visuals are designed to inspire people in the algae space, and make algae tangible,” says Dr. Edwards. “Thanks to these visualizations of what our future will look like with algae, we believe we’ll get a lot of people on board.”
The 2011 International Algae Competition saw a total of 137 entries submitted by hopefuls from 40 countries.