The University of Greenwich (UG) is a research-informed institution that contributes to solving real-world problems and advancing issues that have a direct bearing on business, regional and international communities and peoples' lives. The institution is highly experienced in working effectively with international collaborators, and in managing large complex, multi-partner commercially focused or donor-funded R&D projects. As the lead partner, UG will coordinate the D-Factory project and will also establish and coordinate the D-Factory micro-algal value chain. Moreover, UG will provide contribute to the analysis of the expression of the target compounds, to the preparation of Dunaliella samples, optimisation of cell disruption protocols, development of technologies for crude extraction and fractionation, as well as to the profiling of the chemical-physical properties of extracts, fractions and target compounds.
A4F - Algae For Future - is a bioengineering company with more than 20 years of accumulated experience in research, development, design, implementation and operation of industrial projects for microalgae production, as well as biomass and/or co-products. A4F has experience in growing several microalgae with different technologies and at several operational scales. A4F’s role in the D-Factory is to deploy photobioreactor technologies to fine tune algal natural product production and provide Dunaliella biomass to partners.
Dynamic Extractions (DE) is a UK specialist chromatography company developing novel separation technologies to provide new tools for molecular separation. DE’s chromatography solutions are employed in many fields, and provide effective purification from milligram to kilo scale. In the D-Factory project, DE deploys Counter Current Chromatography for natural product purification.
Evodos develops and manufactures dynamic settlers - fast rotating equipment to separate fine particles from liquids, using proprietary separation technology, called Spiral Plate Technology (SPT). Applications range from highly diluted, fragile particles such as algae, to abrasive mixtures such as saturated drilling fluids from the oil industry. Evodos has years of experience in the algae market, and is specialised in harvesting the most fragile and the smallest species. In the D-Factory project, the Evodos technology is being used for gentle live algal harvesting, and provide an integrated solution for processing high volumes with a low concentration.
Hafren Investments Ltd (HI) invests in SMEs, both quoted and unquoted, though all are new technology businesses. Several investments are in ‘green’ technologies such as Aquafuels Ltd, an alternative fuels business, Ctec Ltd, a waste steam power generating business and Innovative Carbon Ltd, an efficient graphene producer. Other investments concentrate on diagnostic heath science companies and property investments. In the project, HI will develop a comprehensive business case to show future industrial investors the complete opportunity and scope for the creation of a Dunaliella Bio-refinery.
Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (IBET) is a private not for profit institution created in 1989 to integrate and strengthen biological and biochemical knowledge from its academic and industrial members into technology and transfer it into economic wealth and job creation. It brings together private companies and public institutions to enhance product and process development. The role of IBET in the project is to develop and optimise innovative technologies to harvest Dunaliella and to produce extracts, fractions and target compounds from biomass.
Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH (IFEU) is a limited liability company (SME) and a non-profit organisation engaged in the most pressing environmental topics. In its research on biomass pathways, IFEU’s expertise ranges from bio-refinery and biobased materials, food production to bioenergy and algae. IFEU is especially renowned for its expertise (>20 years) in the field of life cycle assessments (LCA) and integrated sustainability assessments of current and future biomass uses in a unique global approach which also includes life cycle environmental impact assessments (LC-EIA). IFEU’s role in the project is to perform an integrated assessment of the sustainability of the entire value chains investigated in D-Factory by taking into account technological, environmental, economic and social aspects.
IN Srl is a small agency founded in 2008 to support the participation of private and public organizations in EU, national and local innovation projects, providing them professional project management services. Currently, the female team of IN manages several collaborations, involving both small and large enterprises (mainly in the nanotechnology and chemical sectors), as well as non-profit organizations, universities and European research centres. Role of IN in the D-Factory project is to create an innovation platform to serve as an interactive forum able to capture the interests and activities of a wide range of stakeholders and integrate their local knowledge and experience with data from the D-Factory partners. IN will be also support the project office and will be responsible of the relational training.
The Marine Biological Association (MBA) has an international reputation for excellence and innovation in research, both by the resident scientific staff and by visiting research workers, contributing to the work of several Nobel Laureates and over 170 Fellows of the Royal Society. The laboratory in Plymouth has provided research facilities since 1888. Although early research focussed on marine life at Plymouth, these surveys now provide valuable data against which to identify how the sea has changed in relation to impacts. The MBA now supports a wide range of research activities from cell and molecular to understanding ecosystem structure and functioning. In the D-Factory, MBA will establish, maintain and manage the D-culture collection of monoclonal halotolerant microalgal strains for use by project partners, and will also contribute to the analysis of the expression of target compounds.
NATECO2 is one of the world’s leading companies in applying supercritical CO2 technology to food processing, providing both large-scale process engineering solutions, as well as R&D and consultancy services, to its many clients. Founded in 1962 with the focus of extracting hops for the global brewing industry, NATECO2 now refines a greater variety of natural products. Their main focus in the DFactory will be the extraction of the biomasses with scCO2, quality and recovery control of the extracts and active ingredients and the performing of scale-ups.
The National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), often known as Athens Polytechnic, is among the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in Greece. NTUA is divided into nine academic schools, eight being for the engineering disciplines, and one for applied sciences. In the DFactory, NTUA will co-ordinate process integration and design, will contribute to the modelling and optimization of the supply chain, and will be involved in dissemination and business development activities to promote the D-Factory in Greece.
Nature Beta Technologies (NBT) Ltd was founded in 1989 to commercialize the algal research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. The company mass cultivates Dunaliella, the richest source of the carotenoid beta-carotene, shown to be an important natural antioxidant and pro-retinoid. NBT, which is now owned by Nikken Sohonsha, Japan, grows Dunaliella in large open ponds and harvests the algae by centrifugation. The algal paste is then dehydrated into a dry powder, containing the essential stereoisomers of beta-carotene used in health foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In the project, NBT will provide the necessary know-how for the outdoor cultivation of microalgae in raceways and to design and implement a first-stage demonstration of a D-Factory that cultivates Dunaliella, tuned and processed in a biorefinery, for a range of products.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is a leading international partner for research and product development within a sound environment and a sustainable society. RISE offers industry-specific access to the group’s collective expertise and resources for innovative problem-solving and technical development. Within the D-Factory Consortium, RISE contributes to the profiling and fractionation of extracts, as well as bioactivity screening and formulation of isolated compounds.
Founded in 2006 Monzon Biotech SL (MBT) is a Spanish SME company located in Monzon. MBT site has marine water, heat, CO2, making the company an ideal facility to produce microalgae. At Monzon microalgae grow in open bioreactors. The products are sold as frozen or refrigerated paste, or powder.