06 Oct 2015 Successful close out event brings project to an end
A successful close out conference has brought the €14.5 million four year-long Swansea University-led EnAlgae project to an end following an event in Brussels.
Almost 100 people attended the one day event, including 2 Members of the European Parliament, a representative from the European Commission, algae sector businesses and a regional government policy advisor.
Joining them were the scientists and support staff from seven EU member states who have delivered the project and were able to present the outputs and conclusions together with a series of policy suggestions for European leaders to take forward.
“Our overall conclusion from this pan-NWE project indicates that biofuels from algae are unlikely to be of significance for Europe,” said the principle investigator on the project Prof Kevin Flynn. “But we plan to continue engaging our MEPs with a view to changing EU policies. In particular we would like to enhance the scope for future algal research to commercialise the sector for bioremediation and also for pharma and food security support.”
The policy recommendations include:
- Introduce a strong and reliable framework supporting algae cultivation and algal products, including algae from waste.
- Building open access pilot facilities for developing and testing algae cultivation and processing at commercially relevant scales
- Developing tools to create sustainable algae value chains
- Increasing transparency of societal and market benefis and costs of algae
- Produce, maintain and increase visibility of technical and business competencies supporting algae cultivation and biorefiing`
These recommendations can be found in the latest report card available online, along with key information on the project.
The project would also like to see the algal expertise available in the region used to develop North West Europe as a hub for all things associated with the algal industry.
Helping with that endeavour are two of the project’s legacies, the Decision Support Toolset and Algal Information Network. Both can be found at www.algae-network.eu
“The idea with the toolset is to provide potential adopters of algal technology with all the advice they could need about the industry and its possibilities,” said Swansea University’s Dr Shaun Richardson, the project coordinator. “It’s also there to advise governments and help with policy making.
“The Algal Information Network will then help establish links between all the players involved in the algae industry, which is still very much in its infancy. And again it will offer access to advice and experts in each of the member states.
“This is very much a beginning, and we hope to see this develop into the future.”