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Algae Products' Internationalization

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALGAEPRINT (Algae Products' Internationalization)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-02-28

Microalgae are an inexhaustible source of proteins, lipids, pigments, vitamins or carbohydrates, among others. They find potential commercial applications in several sectors of economic activity, providing a high growth business opportunity, while simultaneously implying a substantial environmental and social benefit.
In this sense, AlgaEnergy (AE) was established as the vehicle to consolidate the know-how generated in different specialized Universities during 4 decades. It is led by an experienced and successful management team, and counts on IBERDROLA as shareholder of reference and technological partner.
The company has invested 7 years and millionaire resources in applied R&D, with the aim to develop, optimize and scale-up the technology. Finally, with the support of the European Commission (EC), AE has built in 2014, in world premiere, the first semi-industrial microalgae plant which directly transforms industrial flue gas emissions to natural and innovative products of commercial interest.
Having demonstrated its technology, AE is now ready to orientate it towards the marketing of its already commercially viable products, and in this scope of ideas, it successfully submitted its project “Algae Products' Internationalization” to the SME Instrument Phase 1.
Therefore, during the last 5 months and with the financial and coaching support of the EC, AE has been consolidating its business plan according to the identified tasks summarized in the working package descriptions of its project ALGAEPRINT, which were essential to assess whether the project provides a solid and innovative business opportunity.
After carrying out ALGAEPRINT Phase 1 with the support of specialized partners in different fields, and having deep-dived into the markets peculiarities such as TAM/SAM/SOM, prices, potential customers, entry barriers and key action items to achieve commercialization readiness, amongst others, the conclusions are very positive:
Having spent 3 weeks in AE’s offices working exclusively on this project, DELOITTE concluded that there is a solid, innovative and very attractive business opportunity for AE in the agriculture, aquaculture, cosmetics and human nutrition sectors, which is on top a role model of a high growth circular business. The Coach sent by the EC who we have worked with, was also convinced about the consistency of the project. In fact, during the task to approach potential customers during phase 1, AE already signed its first commercial agreements, and got into a MoU negotiations phase with different multinationals, which can be considered as a confirmation of its potential.
Some action items have been identified in order to develop the project successfully, which will be incorporated in ALGAEPRINT's phase 2 proposal.
In addition, together with the IBVF-CSIC, AlgaEnergy has been able to estimate the funding requirements to carry out phase 2, which are slightly below the amount considered in its first proposal.
Direct & Indirect Impacts have been confirmed, as follows:

- Direct employment increase in AlgaEnergy: 6 skilled people with university degree (one of them was already hired during Phase 1).

- Even a conservative scenario provides a quite attractive Internal Return Rate of the semi-industrial culturing plant.

- Making the company financially autonomous after several years of applied R&D stage, allowing it to generate revenues, which in the scope of a circular business model, will be partially invested into further developing sustainable sectors with long term business potential (bioenergy, feed, etc.)

- Externalized jobs creation, particularly in Andalusia, where unemployment rate is >50%. Currently about 40 skilled scientists work externalized but exclusively for AlgaEnergy in different R&D Programs, being AlgaEnergy therefore an important partner for universities and research centers.

- Marketing and communications impact: European role model example of circular economy.

- Substantial increase of the company’s attractiveness towards investors in Phase 3. The BP below considers an expansion of the plant to 3 Ha in the 3rd year (9 hectares are available if needed). A 3 Ha plant will be capturing around 600 tons of CO2 per year directly from the emitting chimney, while a 9 Ha would be capturing 1800 tons of CO2 per year.
AlgaEnergy's Photobiorreactors