2021 ABS Prepares an Industry to Take on Global Challenges

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Algae Biomass Summit 2021

Michael Berube, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation (left) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, will be among the speakers at the 2021 Algae Biomass Summit.

by Rebecca White, Executive Director, Algae Biomass Organization

The 2021 Algae Biomass Summit (ABS) kicks off later this month! The lineup of speakers and networking opportunities are set to jumpstart discussions about how algae technologies are making progress in carbon removal, ESG investments, biofuels and bioproducts, beauty and wellness, rural economic development, and much more.

Beginning on September 28, and with near-daily sessions until October 27, this virtual event is attracting participation from around the world for those interested in advancing algae — microalgae and seaweeds — to build sustainable solutions for the future. A look at the Summit’s packed agenda shows why.

The role of algae in carbon removal

The Summit will kick off with what is perhaps the most touted benefit for algae production: carbon capture and utilization. Powerhouse speaker opening the Summit will be Michael Berube, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Dr. Berube will discuss the DOE’s progress in carbon management successes and learnings from their long-standing programs, including algae, and the agency’s new intense focus on climate change, specifically touching on carbon capture and management. This will be followed by a keynote from Marcius Extavour, Vice President for Energy & Climate at XPRIZE who will focus on the XPRIZE’s work targeting new ways to convert CO₂ emissions into usable products, and how the algae industry plays a role in this area.

Speakers on the “Carbon Capture and Algae Production: Synergistic Solutions for the Future” panel at the Summit, from Global Thermostat, represent a number of organizations such as the Carbon Capture Coalition, LanzaTech, Oceans 2050, and the Department of Energy. They will help illuminate the full-market approach underway to turn carbon dioxide into a resource that is too valuable to leave in the atmosphere.

Just a few years ago carbon removal technologies seemed far-fetched, but these speakers, and others in later Summit sessions, will be showing how today’s progress has established the groundwork needed to make this climate solution a reality.

ESG: Algae and seaweed will be a key to a sustainable future

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing and business practices are taking hold in nearly every market, and for those taking advantage of the trend the remarkable sustainability profile of algae and seaweed production, along with meaningful revenue potentials, will be a highlight of the Summit’s second day of programming.

The grounding keynote for the Summit’s sustainability discussion will be from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack will be sharing his vision on climate resilience, sustainability, and the bioeconomy for agriculture.

To open “The Role of Algae in a Sustainable Future— Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainability” panel, Uncle Wally Ito of Kua’aina Ulu ’Auamo will share about an innovative, community-based initiative focused on protecting the ecosystems and way of life in Hawai’i. Mr. Ito will present an inspiring framework for ecological sustainability that includes how algae and seaweeds play a crucial role in Hawaiian life and invite Summit attendees to consider similar themes as they build out opportunities for algae around the world.

But this will only be the beginning of the Summit’s ESG focus. Two plenary panel discussions will highlight more sustainability perspectives and the importance of rural development, with specific examples of algae and seaweed applications, from companies like Caleres and Blue Evolution, and NGOs or government agencies like the United Nations Global Compact, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Later sessions will also cover topics on what algae can do to drive sustainability, from both the environmental and economic angles.

Markets on the move: Algae and seaweed in beauty, cosmetics, health and wellness

One misperception about the algae industry is that most applications are pre-commercial, or not yet ready for prime time. Yet some of the most established and successful market applications for algae and seaweed-derived products are already in some of the largest consumer markets, such as beauty, cosmetics, health and wellness.

Panel speakers engaging with the online audience on these topics will herald from pharma pioneer Algae-C, algae skin care leader AlgEternal Technologies, astaxanthin leader Cyanotech Corporation, and leaders from customer-facing ingredient businesses.

Dive into algae business opportunities and technical progress

The speakers and companies listed above are just from the Summit’s first week! They will be followed by deeper dives into how algae is making an impact today, with a Meet the Industry track for business interests and Technical Sessions for the R&D community. These sessions are where much of the Summit’s magic happens. Each is an opportunity to network with leaders building startups who are using algae to produce pharmaceuticals, treat wastewater, produce food & feed ingredients, as well as the researchers who are enhancing productivity, designing new production and processing methods, formulating products and much more.

Virtual networking opportunities will bring face-to-face contact to a global audience, a Young Innovators Lounge will offer mentoring to those early in their algae careers, and a virtual match-making feature all make the Algae Biomass Summit the premier place to connect, learn, and grow when it comes to opportunities in the algae community.

As the world continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is bringing together an industry that is set on keeping momentum for a sustainable future going strong. ABO invites all those with an interest in algae, seaweed, and a better future to participate.

All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint articles in their entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact david@algaeplanet.com. Algae Planet accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Seagriculture USA 2024



  • May 20, 2024: Scientists from Nelson’s Cawthron Institute have joined a $5 million pilot aimed at creating a sustainable commercial seaweed industry in New Zealand. The scientists are conducting a seaweed-growing trial at a mussel farm off the coast of Motueka as part of the Greenwave Aotearoa regenerative ocean farming pilot. READ MORE...
  • May 17, 2024: BettaF!sh, a leading alt seafood and seaweed start-up in Europe, has announced its involvement in the FunSea project, a collaborative EU-wide research initiative designed to advance the nutritional quality and safety of cultivated brown and green seaweed. This research project intends to develop novel, sustainable food products over a three-year period, by employing cutting-edge processing technologies and utilizing residual biomass from biomarine industries. READ MORE...
  • May 15, 2024: The 2024 Algae Biomass Summit, to be held in Houston, Texas, October 20-22, 2024, is now accepting speaker and poster abstracts for the world’s largest algae conference. Abstracts should be submitted by May 24th to receive preferential scoring by the review committee, as well as student registration discounts. READ MORE...
  • May 13, 2024: The Tasmanian Government is investing $4 million in the agricultural sector with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock by more than 16,000 tons. “The TasFarmers proposal will use Sea Forest’s Asparagopsis SeaFeed as a feed additive to some 24,000 head of livestock in this large-scale trial to demonstrate commercial-scale viability of Asparagopsis feed supplements,” said Minister for Parks and Environment, Nick Duigan. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide