Tavelmout spirulina production facilities in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan

Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) have announced their joint investment in Tavelmout Corporation. Tavelmout, established in 2014, is one business entity of a group of biotech companies, the Chitose Group, which produces and markets spirulina using cultivation technologies developed by Chitose Laboratory Corp., the group’s research entity. The total investment amounts to 1.7 billion yen ($1.55 million USD, evenly split between INCJ and MC.

After this capital increase, INCJ and MC will join Tavelmout as new shareholders, each with 31.43% ownership of the company. Tavelmout plans to utilize the funds raised towards the construction of a new production site in Brunei.

Through their participation in Tavelmout, MC and INCJ aim to contribute to the diversification of sustainable protein sources via mass production and global popularization of spirulina.

In addition to technologies of strain development and mass cultivation accumulated by the Chitose Group – for organisms including microbes, microalgal cells, and animal cells — Tavelmout has developed a technology to process spirulina biomass, and has succeeded in developing a raw spirulina product that they say makes full use of the characteristics of spirulina ­— highly rich in protein and nutrients.

As for cultivation, in addition to the open-pond system commonly used for cultivation of microalgae, a novel, economically feasible, and scalable closed flat panel photobioreactor system has also been developed.