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Newsletter December 2019

The Interreg NWE project IDEA focusses on the whole value chain of micro-algae, going from algae growth (year-round) to the application of algae fractions. At the moment, the different steps already exist separately, but whole value chains on industrial scale which can guarantee a consistent supply and procurement of quality algae are scare.


IDEA presented at several events in Ireland

Science week at Blanchardstown community Library (Dublin)
Teagasc participated in several outreach and communication activities since July 2019. Dr Maria Hayes and Ms. Caoimhe Gargan participated in Science week (14th of November 2019) at Blanchardstown community library in Dublin and had a stand with handouts detailing the activities of the IDEA project along with recipes for use by the general public on how to make algae containing cookies and jelly sweets. There were 122 attendees and this audience mainly consisted of school children, parents and those interested in developing new food products (SMEs).
Science week at Blanchardstown community Library (Dublin)
Caoimhe Gargan presented the IDEA project at a Teagasc organized Food Gateways event held at Teagasc Food Research centre, Moorepark, Co. Cork in November 2019. Food Biotransformation - Biological Processes for Sustainable & Novel Food Development. This Food Innovation Gateways event showcased some of the latest techniques for Food Biotransformation. Food Biotransformation uses natural biological processes to develop/modify/augment specific characteristics within a food to enhance; functionality, flavour, colour, texture, shelf life or health. As an added advantage such processes are seen as more consumer and legislation friendly, and they can add value by utilising food waste streams. The attendance at this meeting was 200 + and consisted of SMEs, industry, food processors, the general public and scientists.

Interreg NWE projects IDEA and ALG-AD meet in Lille

Interreg NWE organised a transnational event to exchange objectives and the results achieved by the 83 Interreg NWE projects funded so far. Key questions for the event were related to ‘How to further support the uptake of project results’ and ‘How to create an impact?’
For all ongoing projects an exhibition spot was foreseen to create a networking platform. At the IDEA booth, the project banner and project video were displayed to explain to the visitors of the event the different aspects of algae value chains that are being tailored to the  NWEurope climate within IDEA. Because of the multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial character of IDEA, for most participants, links could be made with their activities via for instance agricultural aspects, policies, water re-use, nutrient recycle, end-application in feed, food and cosmetics, or logistics.



Interreg NWE ALG-AD

Besides presenting the goals and results of the IDEA project, networking and connecting with other related projects was the goal of the IDEA participation in the event.  Links were identified with the interreg NWE ALG-AD project on development of algal technology to reduce waste and create value. Within ALG-AD, nutrient rich digestate produced from anaerobic digestion of food and farm waste is being evaluated for cultivation of algal biomass. As the IDEA and ALG-AD focus on complementary topics, opportunities for interacting and exchanging more detailed information were discussed. During networking activities of the IDEA consortium with different potential stakeholders, questions on re-use of digestate and nutrient rich wastewater streams for algae growth were already raised.
To improve the impact of project findings after the project duration, Interreg NWE launched during the event the possibility for ongoing Interreg NWE projects to apply for capitalization projects.  Capitalisation project provide the opportunity to level project findings to other region, other sectors or other stakeholder groups. The IDEA was invited to apply for this opportunity, which is being considered.

Upcoming events

  • 16-01-2019: Event co-organised by IDEA for Forschunzentrum Jülich
  • Spring 2020: Inspiration tours for potential future algae growers - more details available soon on our website
  • June 2020, Reims: Event organised by IDEA partners CentraleSupélec, University of Paris and Innovatiesteunpunt
  • Spring 2021: Final IDEA event

Any questions?