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Demonstration And Commercialisation Of The AORTA-innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DACOTA (Demonstration And Commercialisation Of The AORTA-innovation)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2021-07-31

Alginor’s green innovation, AORTA, increases the utilisation ratio of seaweeds from approximately 15 and up to 100% without using formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals. The company’s harvesting method, Hypomar, interferes minimally with the seabed and surrounding marine life during harvesting. Combined, this leads to total utilisation of the raw material, zero waste and emissions, and a 12-product portfolio of established and novel high-quality ingredients, e.g. alginate, fucoidan, native cellulose and polyphenols, for sale to seven global market segments, including pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. The main objective of the DACOTA proposal is to demonstrate and commercialise the AORTA technology on an industrial scale, including the extraction and production of Alginor’s 12-product portfolio. This objective will be achieved by completing the two following intermediate objectives;

1) Completing designs for the cGMP processing facility and demonstrator harvesting vessel, each with an annual capacity of 10,000 tonnes of wet raw material; and

2) the construction of the cGMP processing facility and the construction/acquisition of a state-of-the-art harvesting vessel
WP1 - Establish all overall specification and regulatory requirements: This work package focuses on collecting all research and development data and structuring it in a beneficial way. Process Flow Diagrams of all processes have been made, expert groups have been established and templates for creating a Validation Master Plan and User Requirement Specifications have been made. Six expert groups have been defined: 1) Process design, 2) Core building design, 3) Utilities and infrastructure, 4) Regulatory affairs / ESG / HSE, 5) Data management, and 6) Harvesting vessel. Together they cover the main areas that will run through the entire project period and that together lay the foundation for planning and building a complete value chain and production facility. A deliverable containing the templates for VMP and URS, as well as relevant PFDs, was submitted in February-21 in accordance with the project plan, and WP1 was then concluded.

WP2 - Functional and technical requirements and building lay-out: This work package focuses on further developing the template for User Requirement Specifications (URS) by adding Functional Requirement Specifications (FRS) and Technical Requirement Specifications (TRS). 2D- and 3D-drawings for the demonstrator facility have been drafted based on valuable input from the project. Necessary regulations have also been mapped and the required documentation has been gathered and stored in a management system.

WP4: Production of intermediate product for supplier evaluation: This work package is responsible for producing the materials necessary to perform equipment tests with different suppliers. During this first reporting period harvesting of raw material and processing into ASM (Alginor Starting Material) has happened at Alginor's own facilities, as well as smaller production of ingredients from the portfolio. Larger productions of ingredients have been performed at external piloting facilities.

WP5 - Project management: Work package 5 is an underlying work package that spans the entire project period and keeps track of time sheets, in-voices, necessary documents, spent and remaining project budget, as well as future investments. Alginor has created an extensive financial model that incorporates the information from the core work packages (1-4) and that shows the equipment needed in the different processes/facilities, before breaking the costs down into a 36-month interval that shows which month the investments must be placed based on expected delivery time. As equipment is being ordered throughout the project the financial model will be tied to all necessary information, such as actual cost vs. budgeted, in-voices and document numbers, delivery times and delays etc.
Where state-of-the-art alginate industry uses a disruptive harvesting technology combined with excess use of formaldehyde and only utilise about 15% of the raw material they harvest, Alginor has developed an environmentally friendly and sustainable harvesting method and advanced processing technology that enables total utilisation without the use of formaldehyde or any other toxic chemicals. This leads to a diversified portfolio of 12 product groups, many of which have unique properties that are sought after in their respective markets.

Piloting and verification of the technology was completed in the related AORTA 2 project (GA 830698), and the expected results from the DACOTA project is to have a complete list of necessary equipment with identified suppliers, prices, delivery times etc., complete 2D- and 3D-drawings of the demonstrator building with all infrastructural needs identified and a complete understanding of regulatory needs, as well as completed agreements with the necessary parties involved. In short, the grant part of this project will ensure that Alginor is ready to make an investment decision regarding its demonstrator (estimated yearly capacity of 10,000 tonnes of wet raw material).

The complementary equity part of the project will enable building of the demonstrator, which will show the global seaweed industry that harvesting and processing can be done in an environmentally friendly way, while being more profitable than today’s industry, which is likely to encourage a shift in the industry. The project will also lead to new jobs in a variety of fields and more ingredients to different markets with new or rare properties that are likely to trigger new medical solutions that are not feasible with today’s supply.
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