NewsBits…September 16, 2021

Simris’ New Business Model After Fredrika Gullfot’s Departure

In February 2021, Simris presented a new three-pronged business focus, offering the company’s biotech algae platform for discovery and production of various types of active substances for advanced skin care, pharmaceuticals, and novel foods. The plan focuses on foods and alternative proteins, in addition to the omega-3 supplements already on the market. This new set of priorities, along with the first B2B-order of partially processed microalgae biomass announced this summer, marks the first important steps in Simris’ transition to a vertically integrated B2B-focused microalgae biotech in the emerging marine microalgae market.
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Seaweed’s Surge Drives Growth of Africa’s Market

Africa’s seaweed production levels are expected to increase after The Nature Conservancy (TNC) — in partnership with local suppliers, government partners, universities, and the U.S. based company Cargill — launched a new seaweed farming “community empowerment and environmental training program for seaweed farmers.” The new sustainability initiative, called the “Red Seaweed Promise,” is on Tanzania’s islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. TNC said Tanzania is where a large share of the seaweed produced is “dried and sold as carrageenan or agar thickening agents used in food products, such as ice cream and cosmetics.” The country has huge potential, says TNC, to produce tropical seaweeds that could address the demand of other “other key societal needs — including sustainable animal feeds, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals.”
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Spirulina Startup Prolgae Raises $200K in Seed Investment Round

Prolgae Spirulina, manufacturer and seller of spirulina to various food and medical industries in India, has raised $200K in a seed funding round from angel investor Vijayan. With this investment, the company plans to triple its production capacities, in order to roll out new products. “We are going to increase our monthly production from 500 kilograms to 1500 kilograms by adding some new spirulina production ponds,” said Aakas Sadasivam, the founder of the company.
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Sri Lanka’s “Blue Economy” Rests on Seaweed Farming

As the world increasingly becomes aware of the potential of a sustainable blue economy, investing in seaweed could provide many benefits for Sri Lanka, experts say. In its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, Sri Lanka is home to an abundance of coastal and marine resources. In addition to providing a relatively cheap and low-technology option for economic diversification of coastal communities, seaweed farming also offers a range of uses as well as serious co-benefits related to climate change mitigation, resilience, environmental protection, and pollution cleanup.
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Could feeding cows seaweed make climate-friendly steaks?

Cattle for milk and meat production are responsible for about 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Methane — a gas about 25 times more climate-damaging than CO₂ but which breaks down after just a decade — is spewed into the atmosphere in large quantities each time the 1 billion cows on the planet burp and fart. And while scientists have shown that eating less meat is a necessary step to greening the farming sector — particularly in industrialized countries, where the average person eats three times as much as in poorer ones — world leaders have mostly avoided policies to achieve this. So, the game is on to come up with climate-friendly steaks. Meat ones.
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  • November 27, 2023: Australia’s first high-level organization to serve the commercial seaweed industry officially launched in Canberra on November 16, 2023. The Australian Sustainable Seaweed Alliance (ASSA) represents ten corporate members across six states and was launched to advance environmentally responsible farming and production, strategic research and development, and scientific and biotech-related commercialization. READ MORE...
  • November 20, 2023: A research team from IIT Gandhinagar, a leading technical institution in India, has found that beads made from a combination of sea algae, salt, and nanoparticles can be used to remove dyes from wastewater pollution created in the dye and chemical industries. READ MORE...
  • November 17, 2023: Isis Central Sugar Mill, 300km north of Brisbane, Australia, will soon be home to ponds growing algae fed by the mill’s wastewater. The mill will harvest the carbon dioxide created when they burn fiber left over from crushing cane to make electricity and use the nutrients in the wastewater to feed the algae, which is intended for food and fuel. READ MORE...

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