Algal biosystems research going on in Australia at the University of Technology, Sydney

Algal biosystems research going on in Australia at the University of Technology, Sydney

In Australia, the New South Wales Deep Green Biotech Hub (DGBH) has been launched as an enabling incubator environment to foster the development of algae as a cost effective and sustainable resource. The incubator will facilitate a diverse range of products including nutritional supplements, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and animal feed, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney and other stakeholders.

The hub will be located in the center of the UTS $1.3 billion city campus providing users with ease of access to other leading University facilities, research talent and transport. A $1 million grant by the NSW Department of Industry, together with UTS contributions, will help fund the $9 million project. This grant from the NSW Government aims to put NSW at the forefront of the Australian algae-based biotechnology industry, as well as connecting it to key international leaders.

UTS have invested heavily not only in implementing sustainable policies, supporting research into bio-products from renewable sources, such as algae, but also in fostering an entrepreneurial and creative precinct where the commercialization of such products can be explored.

The recent establishment of the Centre for Industrialised Algae, the first of its kind in Australia, positions UTS to integrate multiple aspects of the emerging advanced biomanufacturing economy. “The work being done at the University of Technology Sydney to support the algae-based bio economy both here and abroad is a fantastic example of the kind of innovation we’re driving in NSW to encourage and strengthen the businesses that will create the jobs of the future,” said NSW Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro. “Funding through the Boost Program will help to accelerate local industry development and support better research and business networks.”

Professor Peter Ralph, Director of the UTS Climate Change Cluster said that an important outcome will be will be bringing together of science, engineering and industry, both big and small, to understand what is possible in the new bioeconomy, and how to access the knowledge to successfully exploit this new global market. “This far sighted investment will also enable SME and start-ups to access pilot manufacturing facilities to validate the production of samples for a range of sectors including the pharmaceutical, industrial enzyme and aquaculture feedstock industries,” he said.

The hub will also connect with University-wide entrepreneurship programs, such as the UTS: Hatchery, to engage with students to develop new companies and technologies and more quickly identify commercial opportunities for the algae-based biotechnology sector.

Funding for the project by the NSW Government will be spread over two years commencing from July 2016.