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Summit Track Session Descriptions
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2016 Keynotes and Plenaries


Flask to Fork: The Growing Wave of Innovation in Algae for Health & Nutrition

Global consumers are increasingly demanding healthier, more sustainable foods and smarter ingredients. Leading algae innovators are stepping up to meet these demands with exciting new product offerings. Will consumers embrace algae as the new ultra-sustainable superfood? This session takes us inside the latest market trends and algae product innovations, and looks ahead to opportunities and challenges in human health and nutrition.


Finding Farmers: Opportunities and Challenges for Algae Feed and Fertilizer

Algae are getting plenty of attention from aquaculture and animal feed suppliers for their attractive protein, oil and other nutritional attributes. But getting from feed trial to fish farms and farmer co-op shelves is no easy road to hoe. This panel brings together algae technology developers, industrial partners, regulators and other stakeholders for a look at how to go from idea to adoption in fish and animal feed markets, and what it will take for algae to emerge as a major player in this multi-billion dollar market.


Cashing in on Carbon

The past year has seen a wave of endorsements for algae and other microbial approaches to mitigating industrial carbon emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Billion Ton Study Update quantified for the first time the strong domestic opportunity for algae-based carbon capture; a global engineering giant launched an algae-based carbon utilization platform; and the National Coal Council called for greater investment in algae and other utilization technologies. What will it take to realize the potential of these technologies? Panelists will present their perspectives on the state of technology, policy, and the path to market adoption. 


Financing the Next Wave of Algae Innovation

Whether for carbon capture or wastewater treatment, fuel, food or feed, the common challenge shared by all algae technology developers is securing financing. This panel assembles a diverse mix of public and private, early- and late-stage investors to share insights on the current investment landscape and the keys to financing future algae endeavors. 


2016 Biology Track Panels


Optimized Carbon Delivery and Carbon Utilization 

Both the cost effective supply of inorganic carbon to the production systems and its efficient fixation into organic carbon is central to the economic production of algal biomass for fuels and other products.   This session explores carbon capture and the use of alternative forms of inorganic carbon for the production of biomass along with biochemical and metabolomics analyses of carbon utilization by algae.   


Omics - Improving Productivity through Improved Understanding

Omics technologies offer the opportunity to obtain detailed insights into the physiology and metabolism of cells. This session features presentations on the use of systems biology tools to profile algal gene expression, protein abundance, and metabolites in algae, and to synthesize those complex data sets toward the goal of improving productivity.


Synthetic Biology for Algae and Consortia

Many research, development and commercialization approaches have focused on algae isolated from the environment and grown as monocultures. However, both synthetic biology as well as polyculture approaches might offer advantages with respect to scale up, industrial application and culture stability. This session will highlight a number of current fundamental, applied and industry-relevant approaches related to synthetic biology in algae and consortia.


Outdoor Cultivation and Crop Management - An Update from Testbeds and Industry

Continuous large-scale cultivation remains a technical challenge. This session will present results from multiple geographic locations with a focus on not just big data but will include investigation focused on culture dynamics and biomass composition. The panel will include discussions ranging from inoculation to production operations.


Low Quality Water- and nutrient-based culturing

Algal biomass production is a nutrient intense process that has the potential to compete with terrestrial agriculture for water and fertilizer resulting in a food versus fuel controversy.  Efficient use and reuse of resources and the utilization of alternative sources of water and nutrients are essential strategies for sustainable algal production.  This session explores the use of wastewater and impaired water for the production algae along with methods for the efficient recycling of nutrient resources.


Synthetic Biology Applications to Cyanobacteria

Synthetic biology enables the modification of metabolic pathways, the regulation of gene expression, and other aspects of cellular function, and also encompasses development of synthetic ecosystems.  This session features presentations about new tools for manipulating cyanobacterial metabolism as well as reports on modified gene expression to increase photosynthetic rates and on the development of synthetic ecology for improved cyanobacterias cultivations.



2016 Engineering & Analysis Track Panels

Bioproduct Innovations

Bioproducts provide a viable strategy for commercialization of algae operations. Various strategies are being taken to support and enhance the economics of algal biomass production through identification, production, and isolation of bioproducts. This session covers topics such as economics of processing algae for the recovery and isolation of bioproducts such as flavors, fragrances, sterols and novel alkenone lipids, with specific examples of stand-alone processes or in alignment with a fuel production system.


Analysis and Sustainability

The critical evaluation of the scalability of microalgae biofuels through techno-economic and lifecycle assessment continues to be a dynamic topic. Presenters in this session will highlight the current status of the large-scale economics and environmental impact for various cultivation platforms. In particular, the impact of nutrients on economics, and appropriate metrics for the next generation of assessments will be discussed. The Billion Ton resource analysis update will be presented, providing a perspective for future contribution of algae to the bioeconomy.


CO2 and Carbon Utilization

Carbon supply and utilization is a critical component in the scaling of microalgae systems. This session will cover topics from large-scale CO2 availability, from flue or flare gas, to the use of various point source carbon uptake measurements such as pH drift in mass algal culture. The presentations will include the economic and life cycle impacts of integrating algae cultivation with waste carbon dioxide sources.


Downstream Processing

This panel will discuss recent progress in converting algae biomass into drop-in liquid fuels and valuable co-products. New technologies and techno-economic analyses will be presented. Both biochemical and thermochemical conversion pathways and optimization to improve the quality of oil and fuel products will be covered from laboratory- to industrial scale.


Cultivation Innovations

Development of low-cost, low energy, scalable technologies for cultivation and dewatering represents a critical need for algae biofuels and bioproducts industries. This session presents some new developments in cultivation technologies, ranging from novel laboratory-scale photobioreactors to large-scale cultivation as well as impact of irradiance on the ultimate culture and biomass characteristics.


Wastewater Utilization

Nutrient supply and utilization is a critical component in the scaling of microalgae systems. This session will cover topics from large-scale nutrient availability in wastewater to the use of various point source nutrients and include the economic and life cycle impacts of integrating with wastewater facilities. The presence of heavy metals and minerals uptake in the biomass and the subsequent effect on conversion product quality will be discussed.



2016 Commercialization Track Panels

Development in Algal Products for Human Health, Animal Health and Agriculture
Products from microalgae can fulfill critical needs in health & nutrition, aqua feed, animal feed and crop protection industries. In this session, the audience will hear directly from producers of novel nutritional ingredients like omega 3 oils, Osteopontin, carotenoids, algal polysaccharides and crop protection agents that are developed from algae. This session offer key insights in to properties of potential ingredients that can be used in new product development across pharmaceutical, food and beverage and fertilizer industries.

Advances in Algae Cultivation Technologies
Improvements to current algae growth systems are major avenues for improving process yield, product quality and hence commercialization of new products from algae. This session provides information on new developments in photobioreactor and open pond cultivation systems and provide pilot scale demonstration data from such applications.

System Integration for Commercial Products and Wastewater Treatment 
Speakers in this session will present designs and results from integrated systems for wastewater treatment, fuel production, and other commercial products.  Talks will include a discussion of cost-effective nutrient remediation, the design of one of Europe’s largest tubular photobioreactor installations, and a multi-product algal biorefinery approach.

Reducing Downstream Processing Costs
Algae biomass production costs are highly sensitive to dewatering and further downstream processing costs. In this session, the authors introduce several new advancements in downstream processing. Field demonstration data from novel filtration based dewatering systems, pulsed electric field based dewatering systems and refractive window drying technology are presented.

Algae Biomass R&D and Commercialization Initiative in Algae Industry Incubation Consortium Japan 
Algae R&D and commercial development in Japan is in high gear, driven by strong domestic demand for sustainable food, fuel, personal care and other ingredients, and by efforts to develop new domestic industries in the wake of Fukushima. The Algae Industry Incubation Consortium (AIIC) Japan was established in June 2010 and has grown to over 80 organization members. Leading AIIC members will present on the latest developments in Japan and opportunities for global collaboration towards a more sustainable world.


Products from Heterotrophic and Mixotrophic Approaches
While the majority of the focus for algae has been on phototrophic organisms there has been renewed interest in heterotrphic and mixotrophic production based on recent advancements. The concepts has been demonstrated at various scales for a range of products from high valued nutraceuticals to biofuels. This session will detail some of these advancements and specifically look at the potential of integrating alternative carbon sources with algal cultivation for improving performance.


2016 Emerging Topics 


Macroalgae: Status, Opportunities and Challenges

While much of the recent attention in algae biofuels and bioproducts has focused on microalgae, there is a growing demand for the cultivation of macroalgae (i.e. seaweed) for food, animal feed, bioenergy, pharmaceuticals and biopolymers. In fact, seaweed aquaculture is now being considered as an environmentally responsible practice with opportunities for expansion in many areas including U.S. coastal waters. This session will focus on recent domestic and international cultivation and nutrient extraction efforts of numerous macroalgae including Gracilaria, Saccharina latissimi and others.


Modernizing the Biotechnology Regulatory System: Relevance to Algal Biotechnology

In the United States, oversight of biotechnology products, including algal biotechnology products has needed to evolve based on renewed interest from advancements in biotechnology. The Executive Office of the President issued a memorandum to EPA, FDA and USDA, directing those agencies to modernize the regulatory system for biotechnology products. This panel will present information on the progress achieved to date, with an emphasis on the relevance to algal biotechnology.


Legal, IP and Regulatory Issues – Challenges and Opportunities

Over the last several years the algae industry has witnessed promising growth due to the considerable investments in the development of technologies across the entire algae value chain. Along with this growth has come both the legal challenges and opportunities associated with creating and protecting intellectual property (IP) rights of novel inventions in light of recent trends regarding patent eligibility. In addition, as many algae-based products make their way through the commercialization pipeline the algae industry must address the myriad of new and existing governmental regulations that will ultimately control the production and sale of algae and algae-based products. The presentations in this session will focus on important legal, regulatory and IP issues that the algae industry must consider in order to secure a clear commercial path for its products.


Strain Development 

A key need for the algae industry is development of strains that are robust under different environmental conditions with high productivity of biomass or the desired product.  Papers presented in this session will highlight advances toward these goals using a variety of methods, including metabolic engineering and high throughput screening.  Insights gained through genomic analyses will also be discussed. 


Algal Biotechnology: New Tools And Approaches 

Harnessing new approaches and developing new technologies to improve algae cultivation and increase productivity is essential to advance the algae production field. In this session we will see an array of different approaches to improve our understanding and optimization of algae cultivation.


Flask to Field; Lessons Learned

Transitioning from laboratory-scale to outdoor deployment large-scale cultivation requires careful consideration of technical and operational barriers to commercial success. Various strategies are being taken to transition lab-scale innovations in algae technologies to adoption by the algae biofuel and bioproducts industry. This session will address the technical challenges and economics of scale-up and review lessons learned from both research and industrial-scale transitions.


Return in the coming months for exciting new topics that will be discussed as part of this brand new Algae Biomass Summit Track. 

Algae Biomass Summit

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