The University of Florence and the EBB – European Biodiesel Board, together with number of major stakeholders of the EU algae sector have announced the launching of the European Algae Biomass Association – EABA. The EABA was founded in order to foster synergies among science and industry, while cooperating with decision makers for the promotion of development in research and technology in the field of algae.
Algae and aquatic biomass are increasingly raising the interest of the scientific community, industry representatives as well as political decision makers as they represent one of the most promising renewable sources for a wide range of third-generation low-carbon applications in the field of renewable energies, biofuels (including jet fuels), nutrients, pharmaceuticals, animal feed or bio-based products (bio-plastics, bio-cosmetics, etc.).
In all these sectors, algae and aquatic biomass hold an outstanding potential to achieve a real revolution towards a fully sustainable economy. Algae have the potential to grow and produce impressive amounts of biomass using for instance sea water (i.e. a virtually unlimited raw material) and reduced surfaces (even of unproductive land) where a bio-reactor or a pond can be installed to grow algae. Today this could be already feasible, but number of technical, legal and scientific obstacles still need to be solved in order to bring down the final price of algae biomass to an economic level and to produce a fully reliable quality product. This needs to be improved seriously, avoiding over-enthusiastic announcements and promoting efficient and responsible research. This is the objective of the newly founded EABA, which aims at supporting the efforts of the various actors in the algae sector in order to make this happen. The development of research towards an algae industry deserves today to be supported as a priority in light of the major challenges Europe is facing for greenhouse gas reduction, improved security of energy supply and technological excellence promotion.
The European Algae Biomass Association EABA will be officially launched during the 1st EABA Conference and General Assembly that will be held June 3-4th, 2009 in Florence (Italy). EABA has the honour to receive as keynote speaker Mr. Peter VIS, Member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs, in charge of Renewable Energy Sources.
EABA members and supporters constitute a large and solid group of major stakeholders inside and outside the EU, within academia, political and industrial decision makers, among them can be quoted: the European Commission, the FAO – UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the EBB – European Biodiesel Board, the University of Florence, the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, the Imperial College in London, the University of Wageningen and the companies Roquette and Diester in France, Repsol in Spain, Neste Oil in Finland, SBAE Industries in Belgium and many others. They will all participate in and contribute to the 1st EABA Conference General Assembly.
The European Algae Biomass Association EABA is established as a non- profit organisation that encourages synergies in research and the commercialisation of algae biomass production and use, including biofuels and other utilizations. EABA aims at supporting the development of an algae economy and all range of algae applications, via research and industrial support representing its members interests at EU and international level.
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Source: European Algae Biomass Association (EABA), press release, 2009-05-12.