The “Algae-to-Market Lab Ideas” project is focused on the Iberian North West Coast and aims to develop new products and services to address invasive alien species (invasive macroalgae) ensuring a sustainable exploitation of resources for food, health and industrial applications.
It aims at screening marine invasive macroalgae – such as Asparagopsis armata, Sargassum muticum, Codium fragile, Colpomenia peregrine, Grateloupia turuturu, Undaria pinatifida, and Caulerpa racemosa, among others – for the identification and isolation of high value molecules and enriched extracts with pharmacological, feed and food potential, boosting the development of high added value products that may be deployed in the market within 2–4 years. Additionally the project is also focused on the development of innovative sensor-based monitoring tools to be integrated in an early-stage detector for invasive species.
The project approach is to create smart shortcuts to generate "short-developing time" products from marine resources driven by a blue biotech approach to produce products ready to go to the market, adding value to marine resources and contributing to blue growth. It aims to develop 2 bioactive products based on seaweed within 2 years (an aquaculture feed and seafood product) and another 2 products within 4 years (a monitoring sensor and seaweed food product).
The project will contribute towards reversing a seaweed commercial trade deficit in this Atlantic area and contribute to European competitiveness by supporting the development of a sustainable blue economy by boosting the commercial exploitation of the new products, and its consequent job creation and other business opportunities, whilst promoting the preservation of marine ecosystems.
The project builds on the outcomes of other ongoing research and relevant projects, in particular on some of the results of a previous EU project in which various partners participated (FP7 BAMMBO project).