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Biotecnología

Production of algae

Production of algae on a semi-industrial scale.

Description

The production of microalgae is an activity of low environmental impact which does not compete for fertile soil or top-quality water and which requires a temperate climate. It is still a young activity but with great potential for growth and its development may be strategic for the Canary Islands.
The Canaries, as an island territory, have significant limitations on the development of productive activities in the primary and secondary sector; they are a fragile territory with significant limitations on the availability of raw materials and energy and great difficulties in competing in a competitive manner in the great international markets. This has led to a significant withdrawal from traditional agricultural and livestock activities over the last few years with significant breakdown in activities linked to the export monocultures, and a gradual loss of the economic weight of the industrial sector, based fundamentally on subsidiary activities which are complementary to the service sector, the current basis of the economy of the islands.

The options for the development of the primary and secondary sectors in the Canary Islands find a fundamental route in biotechnology, essentially based on avant-garde biotechnology of the intensive production of new organisms, with determined orientation towards medical and food applications, which offer the possibility of gaining access to a sector of activity based on intensive use of technologically-based capital and not so much labour or natural resources, as well as the possibility of gaining access to one of the international markets with the greatest growth potential. The apparent structural limitations of an island territory become clear advantages in the case of biotechnology.

The Canary Islands have enormous biological wealth which is still not sufficiently explored from the point of view of biotechnology, with a temperate climate, which is optimal for the development of so-called blue biotechnology (based on marine organisms such as algae) and they are strategically located among the geographical nuclei of the greatest interest for bio-prospecting and the main markets for products of high added value generated by the development of biotechnologies.

 

Potential Benefits and Uses

Biotechnology with algae is at the basis of development of other activities of great interest to the islands such as aquaculture.

Transfer / Commercialization

Currently, the Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias is carrying out a technology transfer task through agreements for staff training or rental of installations with a range of companies that are interested in the sector.

References

Financiado por el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional

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