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Official opening of the Algal Innovation Centre – 2016

Official opening of the Algal innovation Centre (AIC) was celebrated with a range of industrial and academic lectures. The event took place in the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLUC) on the 9 May 2016.

Main speakers included Prof. Alison Smith (Department of Plant Sciences); Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley (BAS Innovation) and Dr Matt Davey (Department of Plant Sciences). Selected speakers presented flash talks. Some of the slides from the flash talks can be downloaded here:

- Laura McLean (Phytolux)

- Jon Pittman (Manchester University)   

- Olga Sayanova (Rothamsted Research)

Other speakers included Edgar Blanco (Anaero); Belinda Clarks (Agri-Tech East); Otti Croze (University of Cambridge); Alan Farr (Alfa Laval); Marco Lizzul (Vericon Aqua); Douglas McKenzie (Xanthella); Eilidh Manzies (Infors); Brenda Parker (Phytofutures); Rod Scott (Bath University); Steve Skill (Swansea University) and Andrew Spicer (Algenuity).




Cambridge Algae Symposium 2015

The University of Cambridge hosted a symposium on 19 March 2015 showcasing new research on microalgae coming from the UK and further afield, via collaborative projects.

Algae are present in every biome of the planet, ranging from species found in the coldest regions of Antarctica to the hottest deserts. This remarkable biodiversity means that algae represent a rich resource: as expression hosts, sources of new enzymes or metabolic pathways, and for their biofuel potential. As molecular tools and cultivation methods advance, microalgae are beginning to show promise for industrial biotechnology and biorefining. This event sought to present research into new applications for microalgae.

The symposium consisted of three parts:

1) Algal biotechnology research in the UK

PHYCONET, a BBSRC funded Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB) to showcase the UK-based research to unlock the IB potential of microalgae for production of high value products.

2) Algae in Northwest Europe: Results from the Energetic Algae project

EnAlgae is a project funded through the INTERREG IVB North West Europe program, with the aim of investigating algal bioenergy pathways. In this session, researchers from the project presented work on algal cultivation that makes use of industrial symbiosis and nutrient recycling.

3) Exploring and exploiting diversity in polar algae

This session, led by the British Antarctic Survey, showcased the metabolic and genetic variation of microalgae inhabiting some of the most hostile environments on earth, and how this might contribute to biotechnology in future.

This event is supported by PHYCONET, NERC and the EnAlgae project.



Cambridge Algae Symposium 2013


Algal biotechnology is becoming the subject of great interest, not only as a source of bioenergy and biofuels, but for a number of other high-value products as well.

Christopher Howe, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

The growing potential of algal biotechnology as a resource that could be used to tackle several major global challenges was the focus of a national conference in Cambridge (Monday, 2 September 2013).

The one-day “Algae Symposium” brought together 120 members of the algal research community, including representatives of biotechnology companies for discussions on the latest advances in algal technology. It addressed topics such as how algae can be grown most efficiently for commercial use, how current cultivation processes might be scaled up to function at an industrial level, and genetic manipulation of algae for future biotechnologies.

The Cambridge Algae Symposium 2013 was organised by the Departments of Biochemistry and Plant Sciences in collaboration withEnAlgae, a strategic initiative of the INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme, aiming to develop sustainable technologies for algal biomass production. 

More information: