Chaseman Spotlights

AlgaEnergy

AlgaEnergy - Bending the Arc of Agricultural Innovation

As part of an ongoing series, Chaseman Global shines a Spotlight on the agricultural innovators who are making a positive impact on the future of our planet.

In this instalment, we focus on AlgaEnergy, who are innovating the biotechnology industry by harnessing the power of microalgae-based solutions to create a more sustainable future on a global scale.

Douglas Ry Wagner

“AlgaEnergy was created to harness the natural diversity and benefits of microalgae to positively impact the environment and society.  Our vision of creating sustainable products to enhance many aspects of our life on Earth is tightly linked with the desire to bring knowledge of realizing the potential of microalgae to change how we approach human coexistence with the planet.”

Douglas Ry Wagner

President, Agribusiness

Who are AlgaEnergy?

AlgaEnergy was founded in Madrid, Spain, back in 2007. Since then, the company has been on an ambitious mission to deliver the full potential of microalgae to producers and consumers. They see the benefits microalgae can offer, utilizing its technology to develop sustainable solutions to help protect the planet.

Throughout their 15 year tenure, they have established a unique platform for delivering microalgae-based solutions to agribusinesses across the globe. Their success has seen the company broaden its horizons, expanding into over 20 countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific.

In the first decade of the company’s existence, AlgaEnergy focussed on microalgae research and development. Backed by a €60 million investment, this R&D was collaborated in over 150 research centres, companies and universities. These projects established the value microalgae-based solutions could bring to the agricultural space and other biofuels, cosmetics, and nutrition sectors.

With a combined five decades of proprietary research, their team of experienced entrepreneurs and scientists support every agricultural sector. From crop production to animal nutrition, AlgaEnergy's microalgae-based solutions are genuinely helping to shape a better tomorrow today.

What is Microalgae?

Before we delve into the specific agricultural products AlgaEnergy produces, let's establish what microalgae is. 

It's estimated that there are between 200,000 - 800,000 different microalgae species on Earth, an almost untapped biodiverse resource. 

Microalgae are microscopic algae, typically found in freshwater or marine systems and volcanos and icebergs. They are a unicellular species, existing either individually or in groups. In addition, they produce nearly half of the planet’s atmospheric oxygen and can perform the necessary process of photosynthesis. 

Humans, animals and fish have consumed the single-celled species for thousands of years. But, interestingly, the latter, notably famous for providing omega-3, actually doesn't produce this themselves. Instead, microalgae produce the omega-3, which is consumed by the fish and then by humans - a crucial part of our diet. 

Although invisible to the naked eye, it's clear to see the benefits microalgae can bring to the field of Agriculture. Their strains have a wide range of composition and biodiversity that is truly amazing. Furthermore, the stimulant properties present in microalgae improve agricultural yields and sustain soil growth. 

Carmela Pérez Calleja

"Something that we guarantee with our products, because we control the cultivation of the microalgae and we control the production of the product, is the stability of the products."

Carmela Pérez Calleja

AlgaEnergy Global Marketing & Communications Director

The products making the difference

AlgaEnergy cultivates the microalgae biomass for their products in their two production facilities in Spain. Here, they produce a multitude of proprietary strains for various agricultural uses. 

Cultivation takes place in these facilities to ensure the perfect balance and combinations of the microalgae are produced - which wouldn't be possible if the microalgae were taken from their natural source. Also, AlgaEnergy pledges to sustain the planet's future, so sourcing the microalgae naturally could potentially disrupt and damage the natural environment. 

Interestingly, they must adapt their products to the country or region they distribute to because of different regulations. Regulatory laws have been a critical challenge for the company, but one they have been able to overcome thus far.

Ultimately, their products serve two purposes - one acting as a bio-fertiliser to enhance crop nutrition. And two, as a biostimulant to balance nutrition, improve stress tolerance and control pests and weeds. 

Although more products are in development, AlgaEnergy currently supplies two solutions to the market.

AlgaEnergy's Solutions

New Biostimulants
New Biostimulants

AlgaEnergy's microalgae Biostimulants products are the future of crop inputs, naturally promoting plant growth and enhancing the plant's ability to utilise nutrients.

Producers will use the Biostimulants products to treat and stimulate their crops and soil. This product increases the yield and quality of plants and crops and its resistance to infection from environmental and chemical factors. 

The Biostimulants products consist of a selection of over 1,500 microbial extracts that are grown under controlled conditions. These strains are combined using modern biotechnology processes, preserving a broad spectrum of stimulatory components to benefit the plants and crops. These components include carbon, amino acids, antioxidants, and major plant growth molecules.

This product is sold as a seed, soil or foliar application and can be incorporated on many broadacre crops.

Soil Health
Soil Health

Soils make up a quarter of the planet's biodiversity and are crucial to food production. With the 2050 food crisis being a very real problem, AlgaEnergy's Soil Health products are helping to maintain healthy soils to ensure producers can grow and supply the best quality crops possible.

AlgaEnergy's Soil Health products act as a prebiotic and probiotic, helping restore the soil's natural balance. The microalgae-based products have been manufactured safely for the crops, adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil whilst supporting the living organisms within the Earth. 

Similarly to their Biostimulants products, the Soil Health products combine more than 1,500 natural bioactive compounds. Again, like their Biostimulants, these products are sold as either a seed, soil or foliar application. 

Ultimately, these products help enhance plant and root vigour, the yield of field crops, hydroponics, greenhouse plants and overall harvest quality.

How is AlgaEnergy making an impact?

As mentioned, the global population is increasing, and it is expected that by 2050 the planet will be home to over 9 billion people. By this time, the demand for food will be 60-100% higher than today, meaning in less than 40 years, we could be facing severe food shortages.

Thankfully, AlgaEnergy is helping to combat the 2050 food shortage through innovative solutions. Their products are proven to increase the health and longevity of soils whilst also boosting the quality and yield of producers' crops. 

Ultimately, we need to have enough food to feed everyone, and AlgaEnergys' products have the potential to support the planet’s long-term demand for food. 

Another key impact AlgaEnergy pride itself on is its commitment to sustainability, spearheaded through its biological processes. For example, AlgaEnergy utilises the oxygen from CO2 emissions taken from a natural gas power plant to support the photosynthesis of the microalgae. Using CO2 this way means it doesn't escape into the atmosphere and harm the planet.

Additionally, AlgaEnergy is an advocate for a circular economy. For example, all the biomass they produce is included in their products, meaning nothing goes to waste. AlgaEnergy aims to work with zero waste wherever possible, ensuring their impact on the planet is positive and sustainable.

“AlgaEnergy’s products are created specifically to work across diverse environments and growing conditions to enhance crops in realizing their full genetic potential.  Our biostimulant products are proven to increase nutrient utilization and mitigate the impact of environmental stresses through well-defined modes-of-action, while at the same time improving the soil and providing a safe and regenerative complement to existing agricultural practices.”

 

Douglas Ry Wagner

President, Agribusiness

“For AlgaEnergy, sustainability comprises 3 fundamental pillars: environmental, social, and economic sustainability. We are persuaded that all of them are entirely compatible and will need to coexist in the near future. Therefore, we will always offer solutions that preserve these three pillars at the same time to guarantee the prosperity of our societies. AlgaEnergy’s products allow to increase the income of the farmers whilst protecting the integrity of our planet.”

 

Miguel Rodríguez-Villa Förster

Vice President, Global Agribusiness Strategy

"The one component that represents the employees and the team at AlgaEnergy, it's that we're all committed to sustainable development to help the planet. I would say it's the first mission of AlgaEnergy; it's what differentiates us as a company. It's what really moves us as a company and as a team."

Carmela Pérez Calleja

AlgaEnergy Global Marketing & Communications Director

What does the future hold for AlgaEnergy?

AlgaEnergy will continue to build on its brand, educate the market and spread awareness of its innovative microalgae-based solutions. 

In 2022, they hope to release new and improved variations of their products. These solutions will cater to New Biostimulants and Soil Health, but they will also branch out to Bio-control and Post Harvest Protection products in the near future. 

Their Bio-control products will help reduce the damage to crops from pests and their Post-harvest protection.

AlgaEnergy will continue to contribute to creating and requesting a place for its products in the international regulations to get these solutions to market as they look to expand on its already established global presence, aiming to plant themselves in Africa in the coming years. 

By unearthing the potential of microalgae, AlgaEnergy is truly having a positive impact on the planet's future sustainability.

We at Chaseman would like to thank AlgaEnergy for speaking to us and for their inspiring work within Agriculture. By unearthing the potential of microalgae, their work is truly positively impacting the planet's future sustainability.

“AlgaEnergy is looking to materialize its purpose with determination. We are not only satisfied by making our planet more sustainable since we have developed above-average efficient solutions that allow us to regenerate what the human being and the climate change is degrading. Hence, AlgaEnergy aims to be the global reference in the field of the Regenerative Agriculture without disregarding the highest standards of consumers.”

Miguel Rodríguez-Villa Förster

Vice President, Global Agribusiness Strategy

"The work we do is great, and the product we produce is sustainable. We have the tools to help save the planet and help customers reinforce their production."

Carmela Pérez Calleja

AlgaEnergy Global Marketing & Communications Director

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