The Greek company is a purpose-driven hybrid AgroTech & CleanTech company producing cheaper and more efficiently carbon-neutral, high value, bioingredient-based products/ proteins (solutions), enabling food, feed and pharma industries to manufacture and exploit high-value algal-based premium-end products.
Algae are mostly aquatic fast-developing microorganisms, well known for their high photosynthetic capacities. In the past years, the multi-functional beneficial qualities of their various strains and components have attracted researchers and industries’ growing interest. Indicatively, microalgae are used in the livestock and fish food sectors, as human dietary supplements, and in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Algae reproduction relies on photosynthesis employing light, water, CO2 as well as nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur). Its reproductive cycle lasts 2 months in total and it enables daily harvesting of small algal biomass volumes, after the first 2 weeks of systematic cultivation. The main reproductive systems employed are the open ponds (e.g. lakes) or the closed systems (photobioreactor or shortly PBR). Open ponds are more cost-effective to deploy and conserve. On top of that, they are open-air and exposed to various contaminating elements and viruses. This condition makes algae culture vulnerable to impurity, pollution etc., hindering proper reproduction.
The Greek start-up is a recipient of several innovation prizes (including an H2020 SME Instrument Seal of Excellence), has developed an algal photobioreactor synthesis system through the capture and utilization of CO2 from large-scale emitters such as heavy industries and refineries. The system has been successfully lab-tested and is currently carrying out its first grand-scale pilot, promising to deliver 50.000 liters of harvested algal biomass, which will include around 5.5 tons of dry weight premium biomass, including 60% proteins (Docosahexaenoic acid, a type of omega-3 fat) as well as lipids and carotenoids.
It is an enclosed, vertical, fully controlled technology, which transparently, safely and healthily produces high value algal-based products, securing continuous production in an energy-efficient way. It is deployed in natural conditions of high solar energy supply, without use of artificial lighting sources. Additionally, it does not need cooling mechanisms to avoid crop-overheating. That way, the system secures high levels of added-value algae production in a more cost-effective way. Through protein production the system can contribute to solving dietary problems caused by human overpopulation and can also help fight climate change, as it complies to the principles of sustainable development and circular bio-based (life cycle) economy.
The Greek start-up is interested in technical cooperation agreement with different types of partners such as CO2 emitting companies, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and/ or research cooperation agreement with universities and research institutions.