BERLIN — The SUBMARINER Network, a consortium of industry and research partners in the blue economy industry, launched a new project to further the development of sustainable, algae-based products. The AlgaeProBANOS (APB) project will create new, high-value products for various industries, ranging from human food and animal feed to textiles, cosmetics and more.
The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe program and is supported by more than 25 partners within the blue economy, including universities throughout the Baltic and North Sea. The project will take four years and has an extensive budget of more than €12 million ($13.2 million USD), with about €1 million ($1.1 million USD) contributed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
APB is focused on meeting consumer demand for more eco-friendly, circular, bio-based products. According to SUBMARINER, algae can help this purpose by becoming the “biomass resource of the future.” Algae is a versatile and sustainable resource, according to SUBMARINER, that can be cultivated without the use of fresh water, arable land or fertilizers and pesticides.
The project will support six SMEs and startups to help bring eight different algae-based products to the market, focusing on food, animal feed, nutraceutical, textile, cosmetic and plant bio stimulant applications. The products will be made from microalgae and seaweed sourced from the Baltic and North Seas. Through all this, APB hopes to nourish the algae industry into a thriving one by 2050.
SUBMARINER and its partners will also create acceleration networks and digital solutions to help support the algae industry, as well as educate consumers to raise awareness and ensure algae-based products meet consumer demands and trends.
The project brings together universities, research institutions, SMEs and startups throughout 10 European countries. It will directly contribute to the Blue Mission BANOS Lighthouse initiative, which seeks to create a carbon-neutral and circular blue economy throughout the Baltic and North Sea. APB also aligns with the European Union’s Restore our Ocean and Waters initiative, which strives to protect and restore oceans.
“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,” said Angela Schultz-Zehden, managing director of the SUBMARINER Network. “Only a decade ago, the cultivation and use of algae in Europe was very much at the research stage. Today, many large-scale industry players are highly interested in algae as a new bio-resource to improve the environmental footprint of their products. 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.”
Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.