GreenCoLab expands to former DRAPAlg laboratories in Patacão

Currently, GreenColab directly employs more than 30 employees

Photos: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação

GreenCoLab, led by the Center for Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve (UAlg), will expand. After receiving a favorable opinion from ESTAMO, this collaborative laboratory will revitalize the deactivated facilities of the former Animal Production Support Laboratory, managed by the former Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Algarve, located in Patacão. 

According to the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), this solution will unlock investments of more than 1 million euros, with financing from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), which will be divided between the rehabilitation of the building and the installation of two units under the Blue BioEconomy Pact.

One of them will be a circular economy demonstrator unit with closing the cycle via reuse of water and nutrients from agricultural and aquaculture production facilities through algae production technologies;

The other will be dedicated to the biorefinery for the effective processing of algal biomass into high-value ingredients at a demonstration scale, in particular biostimulants for agricultural crops.

This growth will allow GreenCoLab to get closer to one of its main objectives: to make the Algarve one of the main global knowledge centers in the algae sector and in the creation of knowledge and products with high added value for application in the areas of agricultural production, among others.

The collaborative laboratory brings together, in addition to academia, companies such as Necton, Sparos, Algaplus and Allmicroalgae, with the aim of enhancing the transfer of knowledge between universities and industry.

In the specific sector of microalgae, there are four main areas of application: agriculture (as “fertilizer”), cosmetics, medicines and aquaculture.

Currently, GreenCoLab has 10 members: two Research Centers: CCMAR and Interdisciplinary Center for Marine and Environmental Research, University of Aveiro, National Energy and Geology Laboratory and six companies: Necton/ALGAplus/Allmicroalgae/Sparos/Iberagar/Gopsis.

Since the beginning of its activity at the end of 2019, GreenCoLab has experienced growth that has accompanied the exponential increase in interest in algae as a potential response to new societal challenges such as the “Green Deal – European Ecological Pact”, the “Farm to Fork – Do Farm to Fork” and the necessary circularity of the economy.

With a financing structure divided between Base Financing from the National Innovation Agency, competitive financing of national and international programs dedicated to R&D – with special emphasis on Algarve 2020 – and own financing of the specialized services provided, GreenCoLab mobilized more than nine million euros of financing since its creation, including the PRR and five projects already raised in the very competitive European financing H2020 / Horizonte Europe.

Currently, GreenColab directly employs more than 30 employees, with more than 30% being PhD researchers, currently joined by around 30 PhD, Master's and Bachelor's students.


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