Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioSolar Leaf (A sustainable highly efficient cultivation system that produces plant-based, organic, and healthy food ingredients)
Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2019-12-31
Due to fast worldwide population growth (from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050), food demand is expected to increase to 3 billion tons in 2050, which means an increase of 43% compared to 2009. This in turn will have dramatic consequences not only on humans’ health that will consume lower quality food produced by means of less capital-intensive techniques, but also on the earth that will be strained by climate change, increasing drought frequency and severity, soil depletion and disease, and water pollution. Hence, ensuring sustainable, affordable and enhanced sources of food in light of these issues is instrumental for both the environment and society. The objectives of the feasibility study were to evaluate the technical requirements for delivery of the new food ingredients and high-value compounds to the European market and to identify the optimum market segments for initial roll out. Arborea’s overall objectives are to become the foremost global producer of healthy and sustainable food from microalgal-based processes, leading the fight against the current increase of global hunger, soil depletion, undernutrition and food prices.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
Arborea completed a full analysis of the technical and business potential of the breakthrough microalgae cultivation system and initially identified a minimum viable product for the European market based on regional drivers. It was established that the best way to commercialise the microalgal-based products was through direct sales for small-medium volumes and through indirect sales (distributors) for larger annual volumes. Arborea also analysed their current pipeline of potential customers and calculated detailed five year financial projections should commercialization be achieved. Arborea formulated a robust industrialisation strategy and addressed risks and regulations which could impede the process of bringing the innovative microalgae cultivation system to market. The necessary technical steps required to release a viable solution in the European market were analysed and a scale-up plan was outlined.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The expected outcome is to optimize manufacturing and software components such that market readiness will be achieved by the end of the Phase 2 project. The BioSolar Leaf cultivation system will offer the most efficient solution on the market at a cost lower than even the most basic of competitors. This will deliver a significant economic impact to customers and end-users in terms of cost-effectiveness, productivity, scalability and safety. The microalgae cultivation solution will enable to produce food ingredients 100% vegan, hormone and GMO free. The bespoke technology permits a cultivation that eliminates external contamination, to produce the cleanest and purest ingredients. It is also the only one that is suitable for use with industrial waste gases due to the unique, novel membrane technology, thus becoming a major contributor to fight against climate change.