The European Commission, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) and a consortium of sustainability consultants and algae organizations launched a European algae stakeholder platform called EU4Algae. The aim of the platform is to accelerate the development of a European algae industry and promote algae for nutrition and other uses among consumers and businesses in the EU.
Algae are produced and consumed throughout the world for centuries. They are especially found in Asian cuisine due to their high nutritional value and distinct salty or umami taste. In recent years, they have become a standard ingredient in western vegan dishes.Outside of the culinary realm, algae have turned into a go-to feedstock for sustainable industrial applications, such as biodegradable plastics. Moreover, their production helps improve ocean health by reducing carbon dioxide, phosphorus and nitrogen in marine ecosystems. They are also a nursery and hide-out for many marine animals, promoting underwater biodiversity.
Despite all the above, the uptake in Europe of algae production and consumption is slow, so the European Commission is stepping up its game. Together with CINEA and a consortium comprised of EurA AG, EABA, Systemiq, Technopolis and s.Pro, the commission is launching EU4Algae. This three-year project will accelerate the scale-up of a regenerative, resilient, fair and climate-friendly algae industry in Europe, and bring more novel algae species to the EU market.
The platform will be a unique space for collaboration among European algae stakeholders including algae farmers, producers, sellers, consumers, technology developers as well as business-support organizations, investors, public authorities, academia, researchers and NGOs. It will also act as a single information hub on algae funding calls, projects, business-related information, intelligence and best practices.
The collaboration platform will be online by this summer. By the end of the year, the commission will release an EU algae initiative accompanied by an action plan to promote algae in Europe. The EU4Algae platform will draft recommendations for those initiatives and support their implementation.