Algonesia Technologies S.A.S. (ALGONESIA) aims to be a global leader in microalgae R&D, solutions, technologies and services.
ALGONESIA is guided by a philosophy of sustainability and positive impact – contributing to the multi-sector collaboration that ensures the long-term wellbeing of our planet.
ALGONESIA was established in December 2011 and has its offices in Paris and laboratory and pilot plant in Carmargue, France.
Between 2012 and 2016, Algonesia focused on the design and development of its microalgae production and extraction technologies and on microalgae product R&D. Algonesia is now poised to move to the next phase of its growth – industrialization of its technologies and the production of innovative microalgae-based products.
Leader in innovative microalgae technologies and processes: Algonesia’s photobioreactor technology reduces microalgae production costs by up to 50% with consistently high yield and quality. Algonesia has developed a phycocyanin extraction process that substantially reduces production costs. Algonesia has a robust innovation pipeline of processes and value-added products related to spirulina, phycocyanin, hematococcus, astaxanthin, chlorella and dunaliella.
Experienced, specialized and respected team: Led by Dr. Jacques Degroote, recognized as one of France’s important innovators in the domain of environment and sustainability, Algonesia has received EU and French recognition, subsidies and awards. Algonesia’s leadership team is comprised of established experts in microalgae, photobioreactor technologies and process technologies.
Strong market drivers – The global market for microalgae and their value-added derivatives is growing rapidly driven by the demand for sustainably-sourced nutraceuticals (including omega-3 and carotenes), health and ‘super’ foods’, animal feed, food colorants, food additives, alternative energy sources and replacements for hydrocarbon-based products.
The current trend is towards quality, sustainability and safety for production, additives and processing and Algonesia’s technologies meet the most rigorous requirements for documented, safe, organic, closed production processes.
Research-based solutions: Algonesia’s photobioreactor technology disrupts existing microalgae production approaches (open and closed systems) in terms of both efficiency and quality. Pilot tests at Algonesia’s facility in Tarascon (France) demonstrate that the Full Sun Control system (patents pending) combining breakthrough raceway design with algorithm-based production process control is far better than existing technologies in terms of installation costs, energy consumption, quality and yield.
Algonesia’s Smart Algal Extraction (INPI patent, February 2016) is a highly efficient phycocyanin (and other microalgae derivative) extraction technology characterized by its simplicity, high yield, low energy consumption and compatibility with organic agriculture norms and regulations.
Algonesia’s breakthrough production technology – the Full Sun Control (FSC) system is a substantial improvement on existing ‘classical’ photobioreactors, the principal advantages being:
Algonesia has developed and tested a new extraction technology (Smart Algal Extraction or SAE) that facilitates the production of highly concentrated phycocyanin. Algonesia’s algal extraction technologies are superior to existing methods such as drying, solvents and grinding.
The advantages of the Algonesia extraction technology include:
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Algonesia has a rich research and development ‘pipeline’ including enhancements of its bioreactor and extraction technologies. The main focus of Algonesia’s research is in microalgae-derived products and ingredients.
Currently, Algonesia has a range of microalgae-based formulations in development including for skin protection (including sunscreens), cancer supportive care and ‘nutra-cosmeceuticals’ (oral anti-aging supplements).
Algonesia has early stage-research activities seeking high-value, microalgae-sourced ingredients that can replace currently used constituents in products such as sunscreens, pharmaceuticals and functional foods where the manufacture of these constituents are environmentally toxic or require considerable energy.
Founder, CEO and Chairman
Dr. Jacques Degroote trained as an agricultural engineer at the ETH – Zurich. He has over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, inventor and creator of companies. He commenced his career as a consulting engineer in Europe and West Africa and was director of exports at a large seed company. Thereafter he managed one of France’s largest agricultural cooperatives (over 11000 farms and 17 outlets) and was on the board of the In Vivo Group. After a successful foray in digital technologies (NTIC, CAO 3D, cloud computing and traceability), he became interested in the immense potential of microalgae and from 2005 worked in the production and sale of spirulina, doing the groundwork that resulted in the creation of Algonesia. Jacques Degroote is a recognized international expert in sustainability and the ‘circular economy’.
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Bertrand Cahuzac trained as an engineer at the École des Mines and has PhD. in biology from the Université de Paris-Orsay. He is an expert in technology innovation and has worked as a scientific advisor for a number of large European chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and agro-food companies. He has also worked for 6 months as a simulation and modeling expert on the Solar Impulse airplane project. In 2013 he joined Algonesia to conceive and lead innovative projects and to build up an IP portfolio. Bertrand has played various roles in the creation of 3 innovative companies in France; Nanobiotix (medical nanotechnology, created 2002, joined Euronext in 2014); My C-Sense (carbon market software, created in 2009) and EPTEO (innovation consulting, created in 2010).
Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
Philippe Rigout has over 40 years of experience in public relations and corporate communications. He has worked in the public sector, entertainment and advertising. His current responsibilities at Algonesia include developing and managing relationships with large industrial groups and institutional partners including the European Union.
Chief Technology Officer
Benoit Degrenne has a M.Sc. in Industrial and Food Chemistry and a PhD in bioprocess engineering from the University of Nantes. He has worked at IFREMER (French National Marine Research Institute) and GEPEA (Process Engineering for Environment and Food Laboratory, St. Nazaire). He undertook post-doctoratal studies at the University of Colorado working at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. During this period, Dr. Degrenne participated in various research programs on photobioreactors and the modeling of bio-processes for the production of microalgae, thereby gaining considerable expertise in this domain. He has advised industrial clients on spirulina production and harvesting systems. Benoit joined Algonesia in 2014 and has led the development and implementation of its breakthrough technologies.
Head of International Business Development and U.S. Operations
Anthony Merulla has over 30 years of senior-level international experience in sales, marketing and business development. He has worked in the agri-business, consumer products, food, beverage, industrial and medical sectors. His professional experience extends across the entire value chain on a global level in wholesale, retail, diverse distribution channels, as well as brokerage in all classes of trade. His experience also includes all phases of business development from funding for startups to sales and marketing programs with large multi-national conglomerates. Anthony holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics / Industrial Relations from McGill University. He has also pursued advanced studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Leadership Training.
Abram Becker PhD
Dr. Abram Becker trained as an organic chemists at the University of Jerusalem, where he got his Master. degree (M.Sc.) and the College de France where he obtained his Doctorat d’Etat (D.Sc) degree.He commenced his career as a scientific director for several corporations, Bayol, Isochem, (France) and FCC (RSA) and as chief scientist for Dead Sea Bromine Groupe (Israel). On 1994, he created Becker & Associates (France) that developed and edited a comprehensive industrial life science databases. Dr. Becker developed about 160 production processes of intermediates, active ingredients and formulations and holds over 40 patents.
Acting Chief Scientific Officer
Leonard Lerer is an expert on life sciences entrepreneurial finance. He has held a number of senior academic research and administrative positions and has advised global pharmaceutical companies, investors, banks, funds, World Health Organization and the World Bank. His professional experience extends across the life sciences value chain. He is a medical doctor with degrees in pathology and epidemiology and an MBA.
Didier Berli has a MBA from the St. Gallen University (HSG) in Switzerland. He has worked as new business development manager in clinical nutrition and as head of clinical and performance nutrition at Nestlé Switzerland. During the last ten years, he was managing director and shareholder of Phytolis SA, a company importing and distributing natural health products (dietary supplements, phytotherapy and microalgae based products) in Switzerland. He is also part of the board of Antenna Technologies (Cambodia) Ltd, a fair trade and socially responsible company producing and distributing spirulina in Cambodia and of Betsimis Fair Trade Sàrl, a company exporting organic products from Madagascar.
An interview on Sud Radio with Jean-Michel Cousteau, Nicolas Imbert, Philippe Rigout and Jacques Degroote (in French)
A broadcast on Sud Radio with Jacques Degroote (in French)
Hulot en marche vers son départ ? Sur fond de pesticides et d'abeilles.
A broadcast on Sud Radio with Jacques Degroote (in French)