IDEA - Implementation and development of economic viable algae-based value chains

Project Summary

IDEA final event (6th of july): more information and registrations here!


IDEA envisions the development and enrolment of economic viable value chains based on micro-algae in NWEurope. More particularly, partners from Belgium, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Ireland are involved which are countries exposed to a similar climate that is significantly different from the south-European  and North-European climate. 

The growing world population is in need for new sustainable resources for healthy food/feed & chemicals. Algae produce a variety of compounds via conversion of CO2, nutrients and light, and offer potential as renewable feedstock. Although light intensities and temperatures are lower compared to south-Europe, there is a potential for algae growth. For some species, the NWEuropean climate may even have advantages, and can be economic viable when targeting higher value products (not bioenergy).

Today algae based value chains are not established despite free greenhouse capacities suitable for algae growth. IDEA aims to innovate and push the process development from individual solutions to a viable process chain targeting final compounds for food, feed and cosmetic applications. This will involve at longer term >60 SMEs in the region.

A multidisciplinary team is composed with partners (academics, SMEs, sectoral groups, authorities…) active along the value chain which covers algae growth, harvesting, processing of the algae biomass (including biorefinery) and new marketable final product formulations.

IDEA addresses innovations related to: (1) algae species for NWEurope climate and cultivation efficiency for prolonged growth seasons in NWE (up to 360 days), (2) development of an automated water recirculation, harvest unit & alternative CO2 resources, (3) storage concept, logistics and preservation of algae biomass, (4) regional activities for algae processing, potentially comparable to the milk industry, (5) >15 novel products formulations to targeting value generation. IDEA starts where earlier projects ended.


Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek 200 Boeretang
Name Contact Name Email Country
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Dominik Behrendt Germany
Algae Natural Food SAS Louis Bourdonnay France
Innovatiesteunpunt voor landbouw en platteland Kristof Severijns Belgium
CentraleSupélec – Université Paris-Saclay Behnam Taidi France
Feed Design Lab Trudy van Megen Netherlands
Thomas More Kempen vzw Sabine Van Miert Belgium
Teagasc, The Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority Maria Hayes Ireland
Value for Technology bvba Phillips Willems Belgium
University of Twente WIm Brilman Netherlands


Farmer's microalgae webinar (ENG + FR)

You can review all presentations from our microalgae webinar in French and English here




Results related to algae growth and harvest

  • Growth of cold adapted algae
  • CO2 capture from air in a radial flow contactor

  • A membrane based harvesting and water re-use technology (MAF-technology)

Results related to algae processing

  • Wet preservation of Nannochloropsis & Porphyridium biomass

 To help people understand our project IDEA better, we made an infographic.

You can read our IDEA folder here.

Final event of the Interreg NWE project IDEA

Incorporating stakeholders meeting of the Interreg2seas project ValgOrize


Tuesday July 6th, 2021 (whole day event)


Online event


During the event findings of the IDEA project will be presented by the project partners covering among others year round micro algae growth in NWeurope, increasing sustainability of micro algae growth and harvest, wet preservation of algae biomass, processing of algae biomass into products, algae-based product evaluation (feed/food/cosmetics), whole value chain assessment for techno-economic and logistic aspects, and a roadmap towards implementation of an economic viable algae value chain. Further, interactions with other projects (like ValgOrize) & stakeholders will be enabled to get a broader view on opportunities/barriers for algae in Europe.

Target audience

The event is relevant for all stakeholders of the algae value chain, comprising (potential) algae growers, algae biomass processors, companies that (potentially) produce algae-based products, equipment suppliers, authorities, investors and scientists.


  • Plenary presentations
  • Break-out rooms for discussions
  • E-posters: open to all via call for abstracts
  • Virtual tours

Registration fee

Free of charge - registration required (before July 1st!)


9h15: Start connecting

9h25: Welcome

9h30: Keynote: The IDEA project as a whole – Leen Bastiaens (Coordinator Interreg NWE project IDEA, VITO, B).

10h10: Session 1: Algae biomass production

  • Year-round micro-algae cultivation in NWEurope in two pilot facilities

    Christina Kuchendorf - Forschungszentrum Jülich (D)

    Floris Schoeters - Thomas More Radius (B)

    Behnam Taidi - Centrale Supélèc (F)

    with links to other IDEA partners

  • Increasing sustainability at algae farms by using CO2 captured from the air and medium re-use 

    Michel Schellevis – University of Twente (NL)

    Leen Bastiaens - VITO (B)

    with links to other IDEA partners

  • Algae growth on pretreated digestate – Representative of the Interreg NWE project ALG-AD

    Alla Silkina -  Swansea University, UK

11h00: Break

11h10: Virtual visit to SUNBUILT, algae growth & harvest pilot plant in Belgium

11h20: Session 2: Algae biomass processing & formulation into marketable products

  • Wet preservation of micro-algae biomass at algae farms

    Joran Verspreet - VITO (B)

    Behnam Taidi - Centrale Supélèc (F)

    with links to other partners

  • The added value of algae-based ingredients in food & feed formulations – IDEA partners

    Maria Hayes - TEAGASC (IRL)

    Ageeth Vanderlee -  Feed Design Lab (NL)

    with links to other IDEA partners.

  • Impact of micro- & macro-algae biomass on taste

    Johan Robbens - Coordinator ValgOrize (ILVO, B)

  • Algae as ingredients for cosmetics 

    Patrick Gonry – GOVA (B)

    with links to IDEA partners

12h30: Lunch break

13h15: Virtual visit to VITO Labs and pilot infrastructure

13h25: Session 3: Algae-based values chains

  • Techno-economic and logistic considerations.

    Miet Van Daele  & Annelies De Meyer -  VITO (B)

    with links to other IDEA partners

  • Roadmap towards implementation of the algae value chain in NWEurope.

    Leen Bastiaens  - VITO (B)

    Kristof Severijns - Innovatiesteunpunt (B)

    with links to other IDEA project partners

14h00: Session 4: Parallel break-out discussion sessions

  • Plenary introduction
  • Parallel sessions
    • Moderated discussions in groups of about 10 people on topics related to the algae value chains
    • Groups & topics will be defined based on interest expressed by the participants
  • Short break
  • Plenary conclusions by the break-out session moderators

16h00: Closing conclusions

16h15 End of meeting




The IDEA & ValgOrize consortium are looking forward to welcome you at the event!

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