Université Bretagne Sud Vannes, France

Day 1 - 27th May

8:00 Registration and Badges Distribution
9:15 YAS24 Opening Arianna Rizzo
9:30 Nathalie Bourgougnon (LBCM, CNRS, Bretagne University)

Antiviral Properties of Seaweeds

10:10 Claire Hellio (LBCM, CNRS, Bretagne University)

Bioprospecting: How to use natural molecules from algae to develop eco-friendly products

10:50 Coffee Break + Break the Ice
11:50 Jean-Paul Cadoret (Algama, EABA)

12:30 Lunch Break
14:00 Rhianna Rees (SAMS)

State of the Seaweed Sector: A Scottish Perspective

14:40 Hywel Griffiths (Fermentalg)

I wish I'd thought of that earlier! - lessons learnt from developing algal products

15:20 Innovation Competition (Research Pitches)
16:20 Coffee Break
16:50 Poster Session
18:00 Close of the Day
19:30 Dinner and Social Event with Breton music at "Palais des Arts, Vannes"

Day 2 - 28th May

9:00 Opening
9:10 Dr. Pi Collén (Olmix)
Seaweed applications, diversity, and challenges
9:50 Maris Stulgis (European Commission)

EU support to algae sector developments

10:30 VariconAqua (Sponsor)
10:40 Coffee Break + Poster Presentation
11:10 Innovation Competition (Business Pitches)
12:40 Lunch Break
14:10 Testimonials Round Table with Jean-Paul Cadoret, Philippe Potin, Rhianna Rees

Algae Through the Ages: Historial Insights and Future Prospects

15:10 Philippe Potin (Roscoff)

Career Insights in Algae Biotech and Beyond

15:50 Reina Veenhof (SAMS)

The microworld of kelps: gametophyte research in a changing ocean

16:30 Coffee Break
16:55 Poster presentation + Socializing
18:00 Close of the Day

Day 3 - 29th May

9:00 Opening
9:10 Berat Haznedaroğlu (Boğaziçi University)

Algal Biotechnology: From Earth to Space

9:45 Alla Silkina (Swansea University)

Optimization of microalgae growth conditions passing from small to large scale

10:30 Schott (Sponsor)
10:40 Coffee break
11:10 Vitor Verdelho (EABA)

EUROPEAN ALGAE BIOMASS ASSOCIATION: Activities for the development of the sector in 2024

11:50 Antonio Ida (Spireat)

From researcher to startupper

12:30 Lunch Break
13:30 Site visits (limited places available, register soon to save yours!)
  • Olmix
  • GEPEA+ Algosolis
  • Cooking Atelier with Lucie Corgne + Cosmetics Atelier with Algae with Nolwenn Terme (LBCM) at University Bretagne Sud
17:30 Poster presentation + Aperitif
19:00 Close of the Day

Day 4 - 30th May

9:00 Opening
9:10 Benoit Quéguineur (Algaia)

ALGAIA Innovation through collaboration

9:50 Francesco Persivale (Inspirall)

From Lab to Market: Empowering Communities with Algae-based Solutions for Sustainable Development

10:30 Coffee Break
11:00 Dr. Ambika (Proalgaetech)

Leading by Sharing: The Strategic Edge of Proalgaetech in a Competitive Ecosystem

11:30 Algae Young initiatives

12:00 Innovation Competition Awards + Winner Pitches
12:05 Best Poster Awards and Presentation
12:20 Final Remarks + YAS25
12:30 End of the Event and Final Lunch

Site Visits

GEPEA Laboratory (Staff : 230, including 100 PhD students), is a Joint Research Unit 6144 from CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and Nantes University. It aims to develop process engineering for two main fields of application: bioresources and ecotechnologies. This UMR (Joint Research Unit) has an excellent reputation and genuine specificities both nationally and internationally in processes for developing marine bioresources.
AlgoSolis R&D Facility is comprised of 10 researchers and engineers from Nantes University and CNRS, located in Saint-Nazaire. They are dedicated to the industrial valorization of microalgae from demonstrating the feasibility of the technology to system prototype demonstrations in an operational environment. One of the main fields of application is the use of microalgae in the framework of circular economy. This includes in particular the biological valorization of CO2 from flue gas and from liquid effluents. In addition to those applications, AlgoSolis R&D Facility supports a significant research activity on the development of intensified photobioreactor technologies (20 microalgae production lines) in both artificial and solar lights, including their modeling and advanced control and downstream processing (biorefinery, harvesting, fractionating)
Olmix is a global company specialized in developing, producing, and distributing high-value biosourced solutions for livestock and crop farming in more than 100 countries across the world. Their research is focused on naturally occurring elements: seaweed,, trace elements, clays, humic substances, yeast…
Get ready to explore their seaweed biorefinery during our on-site visit - Olmix has developed a fully innovative process to respond to the challenge of processing marine seaweed. This starts from harvesting, washing, and grinding to hydrolysis and extraction steps to obtain the final concentrates.
Check out their website here: https://olmix.com/

Speakers Biographies

Nathalie Bourgougnon

- Antiviral Properties of Seaweeds

Nathalie Bourgougnon is a permanent Professor at the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Marine Chemistry, Université Bretagne Sud, supported by CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research). She conducts her research on marine molecules extracted from seaweeds, especially in the areas of human and plant health.She focuses on eco-friendly extraction processes and molecule structure/function relationships.  She has published >100 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as 2 patents about antiviral substances. Moreover, she has been involved in several European projects, in industrial regional OSEO and FUI program and recently in ANR/ADEME Save-C project. She was the main coordinator of several international projects (ECOS Mexico; PHC Nusantara Indonesia).

Prof. Claire Hellio

- Bioprospecting: How to use natural molecules from algae to develop eco-friendly products

Claire Hellio is a full Professor in Marine Biotechnology at Université Bretagne Occidentale in Brest and is director of Biodimar, a specialized platform dedicated to studying the marine environment and its biodiversity. Throughout her career, Claire's research has been centered around discovering novel natural compounds sourced from marine species, e.g. algae, with applications ranging from antimicrobial solutions to cosmetics. Additionally, she is dedicated to pioneering environmentally-friendly antifouling solutions, including the development of non-toxic boat paints. Claire was honored with the prestigious French CNRS Innovation Medal in 2023 for her pioneering research on algae and marine microorganisms. Check out her research projects here.

Maris Stulgis

- Regulations for Algae Approval at European Level

Maris Stulgis serves as a Policy Officer specializing in Blue Biotechnology, Algae, and Aquaculture within the Unit A2: Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning of the DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), at the European Commission in Brussels. His portfolio encompasses Aquaculture, the Blue Bioeconomy, and Algae. The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries aims to unlock the potential of the European maritime economy, ensuring sustainable fisheries, a consistent supply of seafood, the health of marine ecosystems, and the prosperity of coastal communities for both the present and future generations of Europeans. Under the guidance of Directorate A, which focuses on Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, there is a concerted effort to advance maritime policies and promote a sustainable blue economy.

Joan Tarraga

- Career Insights in Algae Biotech and Beyond

Joan Tarraga is an entrepreneur, building companies to improve human health and wellbeing. Since 2020 he is the Chief Business Officer of GAT Therapeutics as well as Chief Executive Officer at Algaktiv, manufacturing sustainable microalgae actives for performance skincare and clean beauty brands. His broad experience in the business world includes previous placements at Greenaltech, Algalif, Siemens Healthineers and Bayer. During this session, Joan will share his experience in biotech and outline some questions that may help Young Algaeneers reflect on how to shape their future.

Reina Veenhof

- The microworld of kelps: gametophyte research in a changing ocean

Dr. Reina Veenhof from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is a seaweed ecologist interested in seaweed life cycles and ecological modelling. Her background is in the ecology of microscopic stages of kelps. Her research has focussed on how seaweeds interact with their environments, and how this may change in future oceans. To effectively cultivate seaweed and to successfully restore degraded environments, a comprehensive knowledge of seaweed life cycles is necessary. She is interested in techniques to improve resilience to ocean change in both early life history stages of seaweeds and their adult counterparts, and to integrate this with novel breeding techniques in an aquaculture context. She is invested in making aquaculture practices for seaweed both sustainable and restorative. Find out more here.

Berat Haznedaroğlu

- Algal Biotechnology: From Earth to Space

Berat Haznedaroğlu is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. His research group focuses on understanding the fundamental biochemistry of algal species by coupling with high-throughput systems biology tools including next-generation DNA sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. His group develops algae biotechnology for nutritional supplements, biofuels, value-added chemicals, and wastewater treatment applications. Very recently, he has been awarded with Newton Advanced Fellowship from Royal Society of UK and also granted to construct the first carbon-negative biorefinery of Europe to develop algae-based bioproducts for Food:Energy:Water nexus by the European Commission and Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology. Find out more here.

Alla Silkina

- Optimisation of growth conditions for various microalgae species in mass scale cultivation

Dr. Alla Silkina is a Research Officer at Swansea University in the UK. She specialises in algal physiology and cultivation, bringing over 20 years of academic expertise to her role. With experience in large-scale algal cultivation in academic and industrial settings, she has contributed to numerous research projects funded by UK Research Councils, Innovate UK, and European funding bodies, often collaborating closely with industry partners. Dr. Silkina earned her Ph.D. from the Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology and Chemistry at the University of South Brittany in France in 2007. Since then, she has expanded her expertise internationally, working in Malaysia as well as in the UK, where she has become a recognized specialist in algal biotechnology.

Vitor Verdelho

- EUROPEAN ALGAE BIOMASS ASSOCIATION: Activities for the development of the sector in 2024

Vitor Verdelho has over 25 years of experience in biotechnology projects. He is Co-Founder and shareholder of Necton, SA. Their ventures encompass the commercial production of traditional sea salt and microalgae. In 2008, he embarked on another entrepreneurial journey as a Co-Founder and shareholder of A4F – Algae for Future SA. Currently, he serves as the CEO and co-founder of Cell4Food, a pioneering company in the 'cultivated meat' segment of cellular agriculture since 2022. Throughout his career, he has actively participated in over 20 European and 40 National research projects across various frameworks and programs, collaborating with more than 100 partner organizations throughout Europe. He has held the role of General Manager of the European Algae Biomass Association since 2015, representing the Algae Biomass sector. Over the past three decades, he has honed a diverse set of teaching and management skills in various domains, directly mentoring over 200 start-ups across different frameworks. Furthermore, he is privileged to serve as a Visiting Professor at the Catolica Porto Business School and has contributed as a Co-Author to the trilogy of books titled "The Business Case Roadmap".

Benoît Queguineur

- Partnership Manager at ALGAIA S.A. since 2016

Dr. Benoît Queguineur is a renowned figure in marine biotechnology, specializing in the sustainable exploitation of macroalgae. As Partnership Manager at ALGAIA S.A. since 2016, he has driven the company's success in developing and selling products derived from macro and microalgae, alongside pioneering hydrocolloids and biostimulant extracts. Dr. Queguineur co-founded the Irish Seaweed Consultancy Ltd., Ireland's first phycology-focused environmental consultancy, offering a range of services to enhance the macroalgal industry. He also co-founded ALGANACT, an initiative aimed at developing commercial products from algae.Holding a Ph.D. in Applied Marine Biology from the University of Galway, his research on the antioxidant properties of seaweeds has significant implications for the industry. Dr. Queguineur's work on the EnAlgae project underscores his commitment to reducing energy reliance through macroalgal cultivation. His expertise in bridging scientific research with commercial application, combined with a deep market understanding, makes him a key player in marine resources' valorization.

Francesco Persivale

- From Lab to Market: Empowering Communities with Algae-based Solutions for Sustainable Development

Francesco Persivale is co-founder and CEO of the triple impact biotech startup Inspirall Food-Ag-Bio-Tech (Inspirall.pe.) since July 2017. After 10+ years in the innovation and entrepreneur ecosystem, he has spent his  5+ years in the microalgae world pioneering sustainable food production in Lima, Peru, with a focus on Spirulina, Nostoc, and CamuCamu. He is passionate about developing food securities to combat malnutrition by empowering every stakeholder of the food system. He is currently building a supply chain concept that connects vulnerable producers with consumers through high value crops and Fast Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG's). Alongside his role at Inspirall, Persivale is Junior Partner of the conscious accelerator Fledge (fledge.co), guiding startups through development phases and focusing on sustainability. His efforts at Fledge include supporting startups like Quiru and Glup, showcasing his dedication to innovation and sustainable development. His background in critical thinking and sustainable business has been instrumental at Asesorandes, where he facilitated impactful investments. Persivale has completed a Double bachelor of Economics and Environmental Engineering from the University of Queensland and a Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Lund, underscoring his commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation. 

Hywel Griffiths

- I wish I'd thought of that earlier! - lessons learnt from developing algal products

Hywel serves as the Chief Scientist at Fermentalg, a leading company based in Libourne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, specializing in the research and development of microalgal-based solutions. His tenure at Fermentalg spans over 8 years, starting from August 2014, initially as the Director of R&D for a year before taking on his current role. Hywel's extensive experience also includes a significant period at Photonz Corporation, where he was the Chief Scientific Officer for 8 years.
An active member of the Industry Committee for the European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) since December 2018, Hywel has contributed his expertise for 5 years and 5 months to date. His academic background is equally impressive, with postdoctoral research conducted at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and a visiting postdoctoral researcher position at Uppsala Universitet. Hywel's foundation in the field is solidified by his education at the University of Cambridge, where he earned a PhD in Molecular Microbiology and a BA in Natural Sciences, specializing in Genetics.

Ambika Devegowda

- Leading by Sharing: The Strategic Edge of Proalgaetech in a Competitive Ecosystem

Dr. Ambika Devegowda is renowned for her expertise in microalgae research, with over 10 years of experience focusing on algae morphology, cultivation ecology, and environmental sciences as well as cutting-edge methodologies and insights into algal cultivation and harvesting techniques. She stands at the forefront of integrating algae-based solutions into the food industry, dietary supplements, and environmental sustainability projects, including carbon capture initiatives. Her scholarly contributions include ten peer-reviewed and two book chapters publications in esteemed journals such as Algological Studies,the Indian Botanical Society, Springer, Elsvier and Phykos. As the founder of Proalgaetech in Germany, she's at the helm of a startup dedicated to optimizing scalable microalgae cultivation systems, particularly for biofuel production. The company specializes in consultation and technical services, offering expertise on the optimal selection of equipment, strains, and nutrients. Her prior role as a Research Assistant at Kuvempu University in India involved comprehensive studies on algal habitats, including the collection, culture, and identification of algae and cyanobacteria. Dr. Ambika's work extended to exploring the diversity of subaerial algae, their ecological impacts, and their phylogenetic analysis. Holding a PhD in Botany/Plant Biology from Kuvempu University, her academic achievements underscore her commitment to understanding and leveraging the potential of algae.

Antonio Idà

- From Researcher to Startupper

Transitioning from a background in biotechnology and bioinformatics, Antonio embarked on a path driven by his passion for microalgal biotechnology and its industrial applications. Following the completion of his Ph.D. in microalgae biology, and some years as a senior researcher, he made the decision to leave the university setting and fully immerse himself in the exploration of sustainable microalgae biorefinery concepts. He is now CEO at Algaria SRL, an innovative food and beverage startup manufacturing Spirulina under the brand Spireat as well as Startup evaluator at EIT Food, the world largest food innovation community. His primary focus revolves around the production of high-added value compounds.

Rhianna Rees

- State of the Seaweed Sector: A Scottish Perspective

Rhianna has been working with seaweed for several years. Winner of Aquaculture UK's Rising Star Award, Rhianna has a deep and knowledgeable understanding of the entire value chain, including the challenges, opportunities, and actions needed to bring the industry forward. With a career spanning diverse roles, she currently serves as the Business Development Manager for the Scottish Seaweed Industry Association (SSIA), spearheading growth and engagement strategies. Her extensive experience includes coordinating the Seaweed Academy at SAMS Enterprise, orchestrating impactful projects, and nurturing industry connections, and prior to that working for Mara Seaweed on market applications and product development. She is passionate about sustainability, collaborative initiatives, and driving innovation in Scottish aquaculture.
More Speaker Biographies Coming Soon