France aims for leadership in algae technology
France recently launched GreenStars, a federation bringing together all the players in the development of micro-algae in the country. A budget of €160 million for 10 years has been estimated, of which 20% comes from public grants.
The primary goal by 2020 is to develop compounds of interest such as efficient biofuels and high added-value substances with micro-algae feeding on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and nutrients contained in waste.
Led by France’s agricultural institute INRA, and in collaboration with 45 partners (public research, SMEs, multinationals, local authorities, competitiveness clusters), GreenStars aims at becoming, within five to ten years, one of the top Institutes of Excellence worldwide in the field of micro-algae bio-refineries.
INRA noted that research initiatives and investments in the field of micro-algae for energy purposes have increased considerably: more than $2 billion in investments and more than 200 R&D projects, mostly in the US.
GreenStars was conceived to give France an industrial vision of the complete algae production chain and at the same time to become a major player on an international scale.
GreenStars is targeting industrial prototypes based on advanced technologies by 2016 that will allow building a viable economic and environmental model.
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