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

Project Summary

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

Algae trip Holland - March 28-29 2019

Innovatiesteunpunt has organised a two-day field trip to visit several algae growers and processors in The Netherlands. 10 people were very interested in visiting the various companies such as the Algaeparc (University of Wageningen) and Roem Van Yerseke (a grower of algae). You can read the report about this trip here in Dutch.


FZ Jülich Workshop - January 16th 2020

FZ Jülich organised a workshop and discussion ‘Algenbasierte Wertschöpfungsketten und Schnittstellen zur Bioökonomie’ on January 16th, 2020.


Farmer's microalgae webinar - September 16 - 17 2020 (ENG + FR)

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


(Final) IDEA webinar - July 6th 2021

 More information

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.


Incorporating stakeholders meeting of the Interreg2seas project ValgOrize


On July 6th, 2021 we organised an IDEA webinar.


During the event findings of the IDEA project were 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.

You can review:


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

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