Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Launching of European Algae Biomass Association

The European Algae Biomass Association will be officially launched during the first EABA Conference–General Assembly to be held June 3-4 in Florence, Italy.

The University of Florence and the European Biodiesel Board, together with number of major stakeholders in the EU algae sector, have announced the launching of the association. The EABA was founded to foster synergies among science and industry, while cooperating with decisionmakers for the promotion of development in research and technology in the field of algae.

Algae and aquatic biomass are increasingly raising the interest of the scientific community, industry representatives and political decisionmakers as they represent one of the most promising renewable sources for a wide range of third-generation low-carbon applications in the field of renewable energies, biofuels (including jet fuels), nutrients, pharmaceuticals, animal feed or biobased products (bioplastics, biocosmetics, etc.).

In all these sectors, algae and aquatic biomass hold the potential to achieve a real revolution toward a fully sustainable economy. Algae have the potential to grow and produce impressive amounts of biomass using for instance sea water (a virtually unlimited raw material) and reduced surfaces (even of unproductive land) where a bioreactor or a pond can be installed to grow algae. This could be feasible today, but a number of technical, legal and scientific obstacles still need to be solved to bring down the final price of algae biomass to an economic level and to produce a fully reliable quality product. This needs to be improved, while avoiding over-enthusiastic announcements and promoting efficient and responsible research. This is the objective of the newly founded EABA, which aims to support the efforts of the various actors in the algae sector in order to make this happen. The development of research toward an algae industry deserves today to be supported as a priority in light of the major challenges Europe is facing to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy supply security and promote technological excellence.

EABA members and supporters constitute a large and solid group of major stakeholders inside and outside of the EU, within academia, political and industrial decisionmakers, including the European Commission, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, the EBB, the University of Florence, the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, the Imperial College in London, the University of Wageningen and the companies Roquette and Diester in France, Repsol in Spain, Neste Oil in Finland, SBAE Industries in Belgium and many others, who will participate and contribute to the EABA conference.


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