Keynote Speakers

Estratégia

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Vítor Verdelho Vieira

 

Vitor Verdelho is President of EABA, European Algae Biomass Association, Chief Development Officer in A4F - Algae for Future, S.A. and President of Necton, S.A.

He is graduated in Physics and has more than 20 years of experience in Microalgae Biotechnology. His activities involved the management of research projects, technology transfer and new business development. 

Has an extensive experience in developing and managing over 25 R & D projects in multiple national and international contexts. At A4F, Vitor Verdelho is presently coordinating the European Project BIOFAT and managing the participation of A4F in 6 other large European Projects, including DEMA, PUFA-CHAIN, D-FACTORY, PHOTO.COMM, ALFF and PHOTOFUEL.

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Alison Smith

Sinopsis

Alison Smith is Professor of Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she teaches undergraduates in Natural Sciences, and runs a research group funded by BBSRC, Innovate UK and EU FP7.

Her research interests are focussed around the metabolism of plants, algae and bacteria, in particular of vitamins and cofactors, and of lipid precursors for chemicals and biofuels. As well as developing strategies for metabolic engineering of algae, she has been instrumental in advocating the use of microbial consortia for optimizing growth of dense algal cultures for industrial cultivation.

Smith is a founding member of the Algal Biotechnology Consortium in Cambridge, and has established an Algal Innovation Centre to allow scale up from the laboratory of algae producing high value products. She participates in several advisory and strategy panels including the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology Strategy Panel, and several Networks in Industrial Biotechnology.

Abstract

Title: Engineering Microalgae for Biotechnology

There is enormous potential to use microalgae as feedstocks for everything from recombinant proteins and high value chemicals to biofuels, but to implement this technology in a sustainable and economic manner, it will be necessary to optimize many parameters, and metabolic engineering strategies will be essential. In comparison with the well-developed molecular biology approaches available for manipulation of bacteria, yeast, and even land plants, those for algae are limited, even for the well-studied Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, but the field is developing rapidly. Knowledge of endogenous metabolic pathways and their regulation is likely to provide a rich source of information and tools that can help in establishing algal biotechnology.  By using a synthetic biology workflow to enable rapid assembly of different genetic elements (eg coding region, regulatory elements, targeting and epitope tags), coupled with innovative high-throughput methodology, we are working towards rapid and predictable metabolic engineering of several different microalgae. 

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Narcisa Bandarra

 

Sinopsis

Narcisa Bandarra is the head of Aquaculture and Upgrading Division from Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (I.P. IPMA), she has twenty-six years of scientific work in the area of upgrading of fishery and aquaculture products with special focus on biochemistry and nutritional value of fishery and aquaculture products, seeking their importance to health and well being of consumers as well as upgrading the best of these products by the productive sector.

The result of her scientific activity is reflected in the publication more than one hundred fifteen scientific articles in international journals, participation in twenty five projects of national and international R&D and the orientation of fifty-five undergraduate, master, doctorate and national international postdoctoral students.

Abstract

Title: Marine microalgae a source of bioactive molecules for aquaculture

Microalgae can provide an untapped number of important bioactive molecules with vital role in nutrition, namely sterols, tocopherols, carotenoids, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nevertheless, the nutritional composition of each microalga can vary considerably according to the culture conditions and growth phase/age of the culture. Furthermore, these bioactive molecules are essential in aquaculture production - molluscs, shrimps and fish – animals with a larval stage of small dimensions. Thus, during this first period of live they need to be fed with microalgae to obtain the essential nutrients. Moreover this phase is considered the most crucial for survival and for a successful recruitment into juvenile/adult.

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Jean Paul Cadoret

 

Sinopsis

Jean-Paul Cadoret is Managing Director of the private Marine Biotech Company Greensea. With a Master degree in Marine Biology and a PhD in Applied Molecular Biology. HDR at University of Nantes.

 

Since 1988, he has been successively Researcher, Team leader, Lab Director and Unit Director in the governmental Institute IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea).

 

Author of 70 publications and 7 patents. Co-Founder of the company Algenics, its specialties in the general frame of marine biotechnology focus on the physiology/biotechnological valorization of microalgae.

Abstract

Title: Marine microalgae as resource for marine biotechnology – Industrial point of view

Hundreds of thousands of microalgae species are spread over the globe, in marine, brackish or freshwater. They contribute to 90% of the aquatic primary production and 50% of the global primary production. They have colonized all regions from polar ice to desert and hot springs. They have adapted to extreme environments, living in salt marshes, in acidic media, and even in very low light conditions. They play a major role in global climate as a factory to transform CO2 into organic matter. In the large family of plants, the microalgae are expected to play an important role in the food industry, pharmaceutical and cosmetics to access the original assets. A prospective study and critic allows analysing the many benefits of an extraordinary diversity, originality and metabolites productions in controlled environment, completely renewable. It is very likely that it is these emerging sectors that will offer the best opportunities for sources in cosmetics raw materials.

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Fons Jacobs

 

Sinopsis

Fons Jacobs, Evodos Sales Manager Algae.

Started in 2015 at Evodos after > 10 years sales and project management related jobs in the food industry. 

 

Fons works directly with customers, worldwide, and helps to find the right solution for each algae harvesting challenge.

Abstract

Title: Evodos algae harvesting developments

Evodos is a company with a primary focus on the research, development and production of algae harvesting equipment.

With the Evodos dynamic settler®, algae producers achieve excellent results in harvesting algae. Even the smallest algae (e.g. Nanochloropsis) and most fragile algae (e.g. Dunalliela, Diatoms) are succesfully harvested.

The separation efficiency is typically over 95%, and the algae paste is 1,5 – 2 times dryer compared to traditional centrifuges. The algae paste is of excellent quality, algae cells are harvested intact and undamaged. All valuable components inside the algae cells are fully retained.

 

As part of the LIMBAC course, Evodos will guide you through the available harvesting solutions in the market and will explain the differences with the Evodos approach.

 

Evodos designed an integrated harvesting solution and would like to share the latest developments and test results about different algae harvesting challenges.

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Andrew Spicer

 

Sinopsis

Andrew Spicer,CEO of Algenuity and a Director of Spicer Consulting Limited

 

A UK-based SME focused upon enabling technology development and manufacturing. Andrew received a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell biology in 1993 from University College London/Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) Laboratories in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. He went on to postdoctoral research with Mayo Foundation in Arizona before taking a faculty position with UC Davis. In 2009 he founded Algenuity, a UK-based algal biotech startup. He leads a team of 13 full-time staff including 9 scientists. He is an acting scientific advisor on several national and international high-profile algal biotechnology research projects, and a member of the management board of the UK's Phyconet Network in Industrial Biotechnology.

Abstract

Title: Making Microalgae Work: Advanced molecular and cultivation tools and approaches to optimize commercial application of microalgae strains

Microalgal biodiversity represents an incredible chemical space within which opportunities abound for discovery and industrial exploitation, although only a handful of species has been exploited to date within any kind of industrially-scaled platform. Experimental standards have been historically poor for validating iterative improvement cycles for microalgae and useful genome level knowledge is completely lacking for most species. We have developed advanced tools and approaches to accelerate biological knowledge acquisition for microalgae. I will present work we have done to demonstrate both non-GMO and GMO approaches to strain optimisation with a pipeline realised for the isolation, identification, optimisation and domestication and a common approach that can be applied to any existing or newly discovered strain. The importance of rigorous, reliable and reproducible cultivation will be emphasised.

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Imane Wahby

 

Sinopsis

Imane WAHBY PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Granada, Spain is Assistant Professor in Rabat Mohamed V University and ex-manager of Green Biotechnology Center in MAScIR, Morocco. She worked since 2010 on microalgae valorisation in several applications including cosmetic, agriculture and energy and managed 5 industrial projects related to : 1) Use of microalgae as source of plant growth biostimulants/Biofertilizers, 2) Development of low cost media for large scale culture of microalgae, 3) Development of Bio-ingtredients for cosmectic  and 4) Development of Economicaly-viable process for biodisel production from marine strains. She is co-inventor of 10 patents related to mentioned topics.

Abstract

Title: Microalgae projects in Morocco from laboratory to industrial scale

Microalgae offer great potential for exploitation in different fields including food and feed, energy, cosmetic and neutraceuticals. Morocco, due to its geographical localization, has interesting strengths enabling development of microalgae sector namely climatic conditions, non arable lands availability near water sources and enormous microalgal biodiverstity. In last years several R&D projects have been conducted in various public and private institutions in collaboration with industrial actors to investigate the feasibility to use local strains in local context to enhance an industrial production for different sectors such as agriculture, cosmetics, energy and aquaculture. These projects were faced to the constraints of scaling and some of them are now at industrial production stage.d.

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Patrik Jones

 

Sinopsis

Patrik R. Jones, is Reader in Metabolic Engineering at the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London. Educated as winemaker (B. Ag. Sci. Oenology), then PhD in plant biochemistry (2001), followed by post-doctoral research in plant biochemistry, wine chemistry/sensory perception, and since 2005, metabolic engineering. In 2011 he was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. He coordinated DirectFuel (http://www.directfuel.eu) and AquaFEED. Currently partner in FP7 projects DEMA and PHOTO.COMM and H2020 projects PHOTOFUEL and FUTUREAGRICULTURE. The group focus since 2005 is engineering heterotrophic and photoautotrophic microorganisms for the conversion of renewable substrates into chemicals. E.g. Kallio Nature Commun 2014, 5:4731, Akhtar PNAS 2013, 110, 87-.

Abstract

Title: The opportunities and challenges with genetically engineered Algae

Genetic engineering in the age of synthetic biology offers an opportunity to both enhance the productivity of native strains in the face of multiple challenges (from contaminations to low yield) and to expand upon the scope of products it can deliver. Hence, clearly, if successful, it can transform the business of algal biotechnology. Why then is it not used more widely already? Well, for a start, most genetic engineering research is carried out with model organisms not presently used in industry. No wonder we haven’t moved forward.. I will present an overview of the opportunities, as well as the associated technical and non-technical challenges, and conclude with a suggested roadmap for how genetic engineering can be adopted in Europe and have a significant positive impact on the industry as a whole.

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Michael Caldeira

 

Sinopsis

is a senior researcher of MadeBiotech-C. R. & D., S.A. with a Ph.D. in chemistry, more specifically in Analytical Chemistry. His background and professional focus consists on the development of extraction procedures and purification/fractionation processes targeting specific molecules and extracts compositions. Michael does that using several techniques, that includes (but are not limited to) liquid-liquid extraction, solid phase extraction and supercritical fluid extraction. Michael is the author of several publications in this field, including very relevant peer reviewed articles. He also has a high experience in the analytical method development using several high throughput analytical methodologies such as gas chromatography, comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Abstract

Title: Overview of extraction methodologies for high-value metabolites recovery from microalgae

Microalgae have been recognized as source of functional ingredients with positive health effects since these microorganisms produce polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, natural pigments, essential minerals, vitamins, enzymes and bioactive peptides. The extraction method has a substantial influence on the bioactivity of the recovered high-value compounds and thus is of fundamental role in the process. Historically, the three most common extraction processes are hydraulic pressing, expeller pressing and solvent extraction. Usually, the high-value compounds contained in microalgae are intracellular, and this makes their extraction a more complex challenge. Recovery of these compounds needs sophisticated and soft techniques, more powerful than physical extraction methods. Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) has been gaining popularity worldwide as a very promising technique for the isolation of added-value compounds in dried algae. The extract quality (with the conservation of thermolabile compounds and the absence of organic solvents), as well as the environmental friendliness of the method are advantages that led to a change in the traditional extraction industries.  

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Amha Belay

Earthrise, USA

Alberto Reis

 

Sinopsis

Dr. Alberto Reis: Chemical Engineer, PhD in Biochemical Engineering, is currently a Researcher and Deputy Head of the Bioenergy Unit within the National Laboratory for Energy and Geology (LNEG) in Lisbon, Portugal and Coordinator of the Biochemical Engineering Program at the same institution. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Lisbon (IST), Portugal in 2001 studying the integrated production of metabolites with commercial interest from cyanobacteria produced in different photobioreactors. He held postdoctoral research appointments at the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2002, 2003 and 2006. Team member in 6 ongoing national and international projects in Bioenergy, and Coordinator of previous project SIMBIOALGA (New symbiotic approach for a truly sustainable integrated microalgae production directed to a biorefinery platform). Coordinator of an IberianLatinAmerican Thematic Network CYTED P711RT0095 “IberianLatinAmerican Society of Applied Algology SI3A” (162 researchers, 29 groups/institutions, 10 countries).  Dr. Alberto Reis’ scientific interests are in the areas of fermentation and photobioreactor technology, with emphasis on scaleup/ scaledown studies. Carbon biofixation and wastewater treatment with microalgae. His scientific projects focus microalgal biotechnology especially single-cell oils (SCO) for biodiesel and high value products from microalgae such as omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and pigments. Author or coauthor of 60 international peer review papers. 

Abstract

Title: Hererotrophic Alage

Although microalgae have been traditionally considered photoautotrophic organisms, several species have been found living in biotopes where autotrophic metabolism is not viable. Heterotrophic cultivation relates to cell growth and propagation using external organic carbon sources under darkness can be used to obtain high added value products.  This cultivation mode without light and with the controlled addition of an organic source of carbon and energy is similar to procedures very well established with bacteria or yeasts in multipurpose closed stirred tanks reactors (CSTR) sterilized by heat.  Heterotrophic genera (either obligate or facultative) present remarkable metabolic versatility and flexibility but are still underexploited which is surprising because, as in most situations, heterotrophic cultivation is far cheaper, simpler to build facilities, and easier than autotrophic cultivation for scale-up, as heterotrophic growth overcomes the major limitations of light management that makes autotrophic processes more complex. 

A general perspective of this subject will be presented, describing the specific cellular metabolisms involved, the variety of organic carbon sources that can be used by these microorganisms, the best-known examples from the literature and the analysis of the potential applications.  This presentation will outline the critical aspects of cultivation technology and current best practices in the heterotrophic high-cell-density cultivation of microalgae, in which cell densities above 100 g/L can be achieved quite often. 

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Plenary Lecture Speakers

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Diana Fonseca

 

Sinopsis

Diana Fonseca is a Senior Project Engineer graduated in 2008 as Master of Chemical Engineering at FEUP (Faculty of Engineering from Porto University).

 

Has 5 years of professional experience in Management of Engineering Projects, from the project conception to final delivery to the customer.

 

She was the head Manager in the engineering project and installation of a 5000 m2 microalgae production unit in the BIOFAT project, including the detailed engineering project, procurement, unit installation, commissioning and overall project management.

Abstract

Title: Light impact on reactor design

Microalgae are microscopic plantes, found in all freshwater and marine systems. The first use of microalgae by humans dates back 2000 years to the Chinese, that used bloom harvested from lakes to survive during famine.

Typically microalgae use solar energy to produce biomass. This is achieved through photosynthesis, a biochemical process that uses water, CO2 and light to produce organic matter as well as oxygen. Coupled with respiration, this process maintains the cellular metabolism and the organism alive, as it supplies the required energy to sustain the entire ecological food chain.

Microalgae cultivation for energy purposes has attracted considerable attention over the past few decades as it is not commonly channelled into food production, it has a higher areal productivity and does not compete with higher plants for production land. This is relevant given the expected increase in energy and food demand, coupled with the anticipated decrease in fossil fuel availability. It is however well known that for microalgae biotechnology to step forward, production technologies need to be more cost effective, so that microalgae biomass can compete with current food and energy sources prices. Regarding the cultivation technologies, its cost-benefit ratio might be improved through a better control of the parameters that influence the photosynthesis process, as more effective and efficient light supply, efficient carbon supply, removal of the photosynthetically generated oxygen that might be unhealthy for the growth, better control of contaminations through a better control of the water treatment.

During cultivation in large scale microalgae plants, when all the other parameters are controlled and optimized, commonly light is the ultimate parameter defining the cultivation system success, and its efficient use has a great impact on the system performance. Before light is available for photosynthesis, it has to be captured by the reactor (defined by the reactor material and configuration) and distributed along the light gradient inside the system to make use of light/dark cycles (defined by the reactor mixing). The area/volume ratio of the system, defined by its configuration, also defines its volumetric productivity, which needs to be minimize in order to reduce the costs with culture dewatering and overall operation costs. This combined static and dynamic optimization of the reactor design, is complex but also crucial for a successful scale up and economic viability of industrial microalgae plants.

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Luis Costa

 

Sinopsis

Luís Costa is a Biological Engineer with a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. He has been with the A4F team since 2009 and is currently the Chief Operations Officer. Luís has an extensive knowledge and experience in microalgae biotechnology, both in R&D activities and in design and operation of pilot and industrial microalgae cultivation units.

 

As a project manager he has been involved in the management of the A4F Lisbon Laboratory, the FP7 projects D-Factory and BIOFAT and also the Algafarm project in Pataias (pilot and industrial implementation and operation).

Abstract

Title: From inoculum to tonne

Process engineers in training at their universities are usually taught about “scale-up”, not just as such, but rather as “the problem of scale-up”.

As more microalgae pilot and industrial production plants have come online in the recent years, more people involved in this field have realized the difficulty of translating the results of perfectly controlled lab scale tests into cubic meter scale cultivation systems: «Just as we thought we had finally tamed the strain, now we need to deal with ever-changing sunlight, with unpredictable culture contaminants and with a limited budget! I guess this isn’t just science anymore…».

In this presentation, some case studies related to the scale-up of microalgae production are discussed, which go beyond simply characterizing the biological performance of a strain in the lab, and introduce the complexity of the factors influencing the implementation of large scale microalgae plants.

Edgar Santos

 

Edgar Santos is a Chemical Engineer with a Process Engineer Ph.D. He has extensive knowledge and experience in R&D activity and he is specialized in microalgae production unit design and implementation.

 

He manages the senior engineering team focusing in photobioreactor engineering, the Lisbon Pilot Unit (project manager) and industrial microalgae unit project and implementation.

 

Edgar also leads R&D work for several European projects and is involved in A4F commercial activities.

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Tiago Guerra

Sinopsis

Tiago Guerra is a Molecular and Cellular Biologist with a Biochemistry PhD in algal biotechnologies. At A4F he is currently the Project & Research Manager in charge of the development and management of National and International research projects.

 

He has a solid experience in the R&D microalgae field and supervises A4F’s laboratory team.

Abstract

Title: Crop Protection

Regardless of the use of open or closed photobiorector systems, industrial microalgae cultivation in axenic conditions is often technically impossible or it implies decontamination costs that renders the process economically unfeasible. Thus cultivation has often to be done in microalgae cultures along with bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses that may negatively impact the quality of the final product, inhibit growth or in limit cases completely kill off the culture and halt production. Just like farmers have done for centuries in higher plant crops, crop protection strategies have to be implemented in order to manage contaminants in liquid microalgae cultures. This session will review the most common contaminants of economically relevant microalgae strains and possible strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infected cultures.

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