AlgaePrize Students Compete to Commercialize Algae

The AlgaePrize challenges students to become the next generation of bioeconomy professionals.

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in collaboration with the Algae Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, announced the launch of the AlgaePrize competition. This award challenges students to become the next generation of bioeconomy professionals by exploring novel solutions for production, processing, and new product development. A major objective is to reach gigaton-scale algae commercialization for fuel, food, products, and carbon dioxide utilization/sequestration.

Student teams for the 18-month competition will range from high school through graduate programs. “These students bring new perspectives, new ideas, and new insights to the field of bioenergy,” said President of the Algae Foundation, Ira (Ike) Levine. “By engaging with students, harnessing their ideas, and providing an avenue for discovery, we pave the way for faster, more efficient algae commercialization, ultimately leading to quicker gigaton-scale CO₂ reduction.”

“The AlgaePrize competition provides a channel for developing the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research while helping to engage the next generation of green energy workforce,” added Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed, Director of BETO.

Both micro and macroalgae can be studied and teams are to focus their project on one of the following areas:

  • Production
  • Downstream Processing
  • Novel Products or Analytical Tools

The competition will award two separate rounds of prizes:

  • Research Synopsis Prize: Up to 15 teams may be selected as AlgaePrize finalists based on the strength of their research proposal. Each team will be awarded $5,000.
  • Final Awards: Finalist teams will present their research at the AlgaePrize Competition event. The top five teams will be selected as AlgaePrize winners and will be awarded a $10,000 prize.

These five winning teams will present their research to a final panel of judges who will select a single Grand Champion for an additional $5,000 grand prize.

The winning teams as well as the Grand Champion will be invited to the 2023 Algae Biomass Summit to present their research and network with participants..

For more information, including media resources, please visit DOE’s AlgaePrize. Prospective students can find competition rules and details here. 2022–2023 registrations close on March 2, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. For questions, please contact:, or AlgaePrize Director.

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