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Volume 2

Microalgae as cell factories for chemical and biochemical products (ALGINET)



Cell factory area


EU Contribution

1,221,878 Euro


36 months



Starting date

Foreseen 01 January 2003 (contract not yet signed at date of printing)

algal database
virtual institute

There is increasing interest throughout Europe in alternative methods of obtaining chemical and biochemical products. Scientists are increasingly turning to microalgae as a natural source of many useful products. They also have many other useful properties, e.g. as a food source for humans and animals. There has been considerable research performed throughout Europe into microalgae, but good results have been limited, due to poor coordination and duplication of research. The uptake rate of new technology has also been less than impressive.

This network will support European research into microalgae and make recommendations for its future direction. It will aid technology transfer between cutting edge research companies and SMEs and also lay the groundwork for a microalgal 'virtual institute'.


The main aims of the network are:

  • improve communication between workers in the field of microalgae (and phycology generally).
  • elaborate the current state of the art in the field.
  • focus the direction of European research, to open new markets for microalgal products.
  • provide a standard online reference portal for workers in the field.
  • enable more rapid dissemination of research results, to speed the uptake of new technologies.
  • identify obstacles to the development of microalgal technologies and to propose solutions.
  • attract new interest in the field.
  • develop an ongoing 'virtual institute' model and lay the groundwork for future RTD projects.

The network aims to investigate all areas of microalgae and has five main areas of work:

  • summary of European algae collections: will bring together data from various algal collections into a single portal and provide the definitive first stop for all users of microalgal products.
  • research and development strategy determination: will examine the current state of the art in microalgal technology and make recommendations for the future direction of European research.
  • microalgae and cyanobacteria in industrial processes: will study current industrial applications of microalgae and try to identify possible future uses.
  • limitations on the use of microalgae: will use results of other WPs and expertise of network members to propose possible solutions to current obstacles preventing the use of microalgal technology.
  • technological dissemination: will promote the network and spread its results. Will encourage technology transfer between members and beyond and will solidify the network structure to lay the groundwork for a European Virtual Phycology Institute.

This network aims to help coordinate the European research effort. It plans to lay the groundwork for other research projects by providing a comprehensive online database of information relating to the subject and provide a detailed state of the art survey.

It also proposes to identify areas of high added value, so that the returns on future research investment will be greater. It will also have an active dissemination strategy and plans to establish a virtual institute to assist future research.


Key deliverable results will be: the creation of a searchable online database of European algal collections; a comprehensive literature and patent search; a database of European centres of excellence; the publication of ten e-books on ten species of microalgae; a report on the future direction of European research; a catalogue of current uses of microalgae; a report into areas where microalgae could be used; two Europe-wide workshops to improve awareness of the technology and a student thesis competition.

The preliminary work towards the establishment of a virtual institute for microalgal technology will be another major deliverable of the project.

Dr Mark Pullinger
Chalex Research Ltd.
TQ1 2JP, Torquay, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1803-201 065
Fax: +44-1803-201 066
Miss Irene Mínguez Pablos
TTZ Bremerhaven
27572 Bremerhaven, Germany
Tel: +49-471-972 4679
Fax: +49-471-972 4670

Dr Maeve Kelly
Scottish Association for Marine Science
PA34 4AD, Oban, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1631-559 233
Fax: +44-1631-559 001

Mr Vítor Verdelho Vieira
Necton SA
8700 Olhão, Portugal
Tel: +351-93-200 6001
Fax: +351-289-703 961

Dr George Triantaphyllidis
LAMANS Management Services SA
10433 Athens, Greece
Tel: +30-10-821 7808
Fax: +30-10-821 4150

Prof. Andrew Young
School of Biological and Earth Sciences
Liverpool John Moores University
L3 3AF, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-151-231 2173
Fax: +44-151-207 3224

Mr John Donnelly
Industrial Standards Ltd.
Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-667 3814
Fax: +353-1-667 3816

Dr John Day
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Windermere
Natural Environment Research Council
LA22 0LP, Ambleside, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1539-442 468
Fax: +44-1539-446 914

Dr Tony Hall
Aquaartis SA
CEDEX 44806 St. Herblain, France
Tel: +33-2-2803 0560
Fax: +33-2-2803 0561

Mr Elie Duran
R&D (Bio cosmetics production process)
Evaflor SA
75017 Paris, France
Tel: +33-1-2445 2521
Fax: +33-1-3986 8765

Mr Danny Wakely
Technology Codes Ltd.
Skibereen, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-679 1381
Fax: +353-1-679 6470

Dr Giuseppe Torzillo
Instituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi (Sezione di Firenze)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
50411 Firenze, Italy
Tel: +39-0-5575 1859
Fax: +39-0-5575 1859

Prof. Matthew Dring
Queen's University Marine Laboratory
Queen's University, Belfast
BT22 1PF, Portaferry, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-28-4272 7803
Fax: +44-28-4272 8902

Dr Maija Balode
Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Latvia
2169 Salaspils, Latvia
Tel: +371-2-945 399
Fax: +371-2-945 442

Dr Vassilios Roussis
Dept. of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry
School of Pharmacy
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
15771 Athens, Greece
Tel: +30-1-7274 592
Fax: +30-1-7274 592

Dr Goran Samuelsson
Dept. of Plant Physiology
Umeå University
90187 Umeå, Sweden
Tel: +46-90-786 5694
Fax: +46-90-786 6676

Prof. João Carlos Serafim Varela
Centre of Marine Sciences
Universidade do Algarve
8000 Faro, Portugal
Tel: +351-289-800 900 / 7381
Fax: +351-289-818 353

Dr John Mullarney
European DHA Information Centre
80103 München, Germany
Tel: +49-89-5502 8487
Fax: +49-40-3603 049423

Dr Bernd Kroon
Kroon AQA GmbH
27572 Bremerhaven, Germany
Tel: +49-471-3083 3000
Fax: +49-471-3082 3010

Prof. Dr Jaime Fábregas
Dept. of Microbiology
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
15782 Santiago, Spain
Tel: +34-981-563 100 x 14944
Fax: +34-981-592 210

Mr. Erling Sandsdalen
Dept. of Marine Biotechnology and Fish Health
Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Agriculture
9291 Tromsø, Norway
Tel: +47-7762-9000
Fax: +47-7762-9100

Dr Lucas Stal
Dept. of Marine Microbiology
Netherlands Institute of Ecology
4400AC Yerseke, The Netherlands
Tel: +31-113-577 497
Fax: +31-113-573 616

Prof. Dr Eva Miadaková
Dept. of Genetics
Comenius University, Bratislava
82415 Bratislava, Slovakia
Tel: +421-7-6029 6278
Fax: +421-7-6542 9064

Prof. Dr Winfried Hartmeier
Dept. of Biotechnology
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
52056 Aachen, Germany
Tel: +49-241-802 4175
Fax: +49-241-802 2387

Prof. Avigad Vonshak
Microalgal Biotechnology Unit
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel
Tel: +972-7-659 6799
Fax: +972-7-659 6802

Prof. Emilio Molina Grima
Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Universidad de Almería
04021 Almería, Spain
Tel: +34-950-015 032
Fax: +34-950-015 484

Prof. Dr. Rainer Buchholz
Institut für Biotechnologie
Technische Universität Berlin
13355 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49-30-3147 2268
Fax: +49-30-3147 2950

Dr Linda Medlin
Biological Oceanography and Pelagic Ecosystems
Alfred Wegner Institut für Polar und Meeresforschung
27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
Tel: +49-471-4831 1443
Fax: +49-471-4831 1425

Prof. Michael Karydis
Dept. of Marine Sciences
University of the Aegean
81100 Mytilini, Greece
Tel: +30-251-36 801
Fax: +30-251-36 809

Prof. Dr Thomas Friedl
Albrecht-von-Haller Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften
Georg-August Universität Göttingen
37073 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49-551-397 868
Fax: +49-551-397 871

Dr Benoît Véron
Laboratoire de Biologie et Biotechnologie Marines
Cedex 14032 Caen, France
Tel: +33-2-31 538 061
Fax: +33-2-31 538 009