Advancing aquaculture through innovative microalgae solutions

The European project has taken significant steps in using microalgae to enhance fish health and resilience in aquaculture.

meeting Oslo
Final Consortium meeting in Oslo (and online), with the Microboost team, Mari Moren, Research Director at NIVA (lady on the right) and Pedro Pessoa e Costa, Portuguese ambassador to Oslo(gentlemen on the right).
May 3, 2024

The European MICROBOOST project, a pioneering initiative funded by EEA Grants Blue Growth Programme, has reached its final stage. Led by Allmicroalgae and involving key partners from Portugal and Norway, the project has taken significant steps in using microalgae to enhance fish health and resilience in aquaculture.

MICROBOOST was launched to develop and optimize microalgae-based functional aquafeed ingredients. These innovative ingredients harness the unique bioactive properties of microalgae to improve fish health and farming productivity, crucial elements for sustainable aquaculture practices.

Over the past two years, the project team has conducted extensive research and development, creating high-value immunostimulatory ingredients derived from Nannochloropsis sp. and Euglena gracilis. These efforts were supported by the advanced facilities of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the University of Bergen, along with Portugal's Marine and Environmental Research Centre (CIIMAR), GreenCoLab, and the company Sparos.

The team selected and optimized microalgae strains from the Norwegian Culture Collection of Algae (NORCCA) getting significant enhancements in growth performance and biomass production.

The project established protocols for cell disruption and biomass fractionation, facilitating the extraction and purification of valuable bioactive compounds. Through rigorous in vitro and in vivo testing, the project confirmed the health benefits of microalgae-derived ingredients, demonstrating their potential to boost immune responses and overall robustness in fish. Pilot products have been formulated, to meet the industry’s high standards and pave the way for commercial launch. The project anticipates the introduction of these groundbreaking ingredients into the aquafeed market, significantly impacting the sector’s growth and sustainability.

“The success of MICROBOOST is a testament to the power of international collaboration. The synergy between Portuguese and Norwegian research institutions and industrial partners has not only accelerated innovation but also fostered knowledge exchange and capacity building across borders,” the team said. “The continued collaboration among the project’s partners will ensure that the advancements made will have a lasting impact on the industry and beyond.”

The project was funded by EEA Grants and the Programme Operator “Directorate General for Maritime Policy” (DGPM) and the Portuguese Ministry of Economy.