NewsBits…August 12, 2021

  Women of Algae

Seagriculture Innovation Award Nominations Close 8/15

SeagricultureThe organizers of Seagriculture ONLINE 2021 have announced the launching of the Seagriculture Innovation Award, to be presented on September 16, 2021. The award is open to all companies, research institutes and other organizations involved in seaweed innovation. The deadline for nominations is August 15th. A jury incorporating international seaweed experts from academia and industry will select winners for the most innovative product, service or invention. Three awards will be presented by the jury: Gold, Silver and Bronze, plus one audience Award.
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Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance Launched

ASSA logoA target of $100 million in production by 2025 is the catalyst for the newly formed Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA). The federal government has also boosted its investment, injecting $59 million into the Marine Bioproduct Cooperative Research Centre over the next 10 years. ASSA was formed by the Australian Seaweed Institute, CH4 Global, FutureFeed, and the University of Tasmania, with support from AgriFutures Australia. “Our vision for the Australian seaweed industry is for a high tech and high value, sustainable industry to support thriving oceans and coastal communities,” said ASSA chair and Australian Seaweed Institute CEO Jo Kelly.
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Lumen Bioscience and Google Announce Collaboration

Lumen Bioscience GoogleSeattle biotech startup Lumen Bioscience and Google have announced a collaboration and released a new paper that shows how a machine learning-based process helped double spirulina-based protein production capabilities. Lumen also said that it received a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy for the research. The effort is being led by Lumen’s head of informatics Caitlin Gamble and Google Accelerated Science engineer Drew Bryant, and is backed in part by the Gates Foundation. “The combination of two pioneering innovations — the machine-learning of Google and our spirulina-based therapeutics production — brings us even closer to a fully optimized approach that could have a major impact on devastating diseases globally,” Lumen co-founder Jim Roberts said in a statement. He added that their research paper is “the first to describe the application of AI techniques to biologics manufacturing.”
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Solabia-Algatech Nutrition Launches Whole-Algae Sourced β-glucan

Solabia AlgatechSolabia-Algatech Nutrition, is launching 100% natural whole Euglena gracilis algae BioGlena™ for immune support. BioGlena is produced using proprietary fermentation technology that ensures a high β-glucan content (>55%) in addition to complete protein plus essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. This next-generation source of β-glucan is 100% natural and cleanly processed without solvents or additives. “β-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides known for their positive effect on the immune system, with more than 12,000 scientific papers published in the past few decades,” notes Doron Safrai, CEO of Solabia-Algatech Nutrition. “While grains, yeast, and certain fungi are traditional sources of β-glucans, researchers and formulators are increasingly recognizing E. gracilis as a significant high-value source.”
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Indonesia Committed to Raising the Production of Seaweed

Ministry of Maritime Affairs and FisheriesIndonesia is the second largest seaweed producer next to China, with exports reaching 195.574 tons in 2020, valued at US$279.58 million.​​​​​​​ The country is rich in macro-algae, with 89 familia, 268 genus, and 911 species recorded in its oceans, based on data from the Institute of Sciences’ Oceanography Research Center. Such a variety of seaweeds is a blessing that must be taken advantage of to support the nation’s economy, provide jobs, raise foreign exchange, as well as provide food and nutrition, says the Director General of Marine and Fishery Product. To this end, the ministry’s Cultivation Director General Tb Haeru Rahayu has stated that his agency is committed to raising the production of seaweed commodity since it has a broad market, both domestic and international, to boost the economy.
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