▪ Construction of the world's first microalgae biorefinery with industrial capacity at the Microphyt facility in France from summer 2021.
▪ A unique technology platform for the sustainable production of natural ingredients with high added value for food and wellness.
▪ The most important European grant awarded by the public-private partnership "Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking". on the subject of sustainable aquatic production.
Hosted by Microphyt, the SCALE program has been selected by the "Microphyt".Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking". which associates the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium in the extremely competitive framework of the "Bio-based Industries Consortium" programs.Flagship". The 4-year project is endowed with a grant of 15 million euros. SCALE brings together 11 leading international partners aiming to participate in the development of the world's largest microalgae biorefinery. The aim is to respond to a growing demand for safe, effective and sustainably produced natural ingredients for applications in the wellness and nutrition sectors.
Industrial and multispecies production facilities, unique in the world
Located in Baillargues, near Montpellier in the Hérault, Microphyt's historic site will house the world's first biorefinery based on CAMARGUE microalgae production technology combined with a unique capacity to extract their active ingredients.
CAMARGUE technology, exclusive and unique, is based on the hydro-biomimetic principle. It allows to get closer to the natural environment and to take full advantage of the biological potential of microalgae while guaranteeing a high level of control. Already implemented in its industrial demonstrator, this technology has enabled Microphyt to become the company that has produced the largest number of different species on a large scale in the world. The extraordinary biodiversity of microalgae, recognized for its numerous benefits, offers unprecedented solutions in terms of nutrition and well-being. Microphyt also ensures the extraction of the active principles of microalgae on its production platform through the use of green solvents.
During the 4 years of SCALE, the capacity of the Microphyt platform will be multiplied by 5, allowing the development and production of more than 15 new ingredients from microalgae for the fields of nutrition and cosmetics. SCALE's annual capacity will be more than 100 tons of high value-added ingredients.
An eco-responsible project for a sustainable sector
At Microphyt, microalgae cultivation is already GMO- and pesticide-free and consumes CO2. SCALE will further accelerate these environmental action plans by integrating a link to renewable energy production and increased recycling actions. The SCALE industrial platform will therefore enable the production of eco-responsible natural ingredients whose use will contribute to reduce the dependence on petrochemicals. At the global level, SCALE will contribute to the achievement of European climate targets by acting on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by around 20 %.
The field of natural ingredients is growing strongly, at 8 to 10 % per year and represents a market of 4 to 5 billion USD worldwide. Microalgae represent ideal sources of ingredients due to their diversity of active ingredients and the ability to produce them in a controlled manner. The nutrition and wellness sectors will therefore benefit from SCALE's supply of ingredients. During the SCALE replication phase, the revenues generated by finished food or wellness products incorporating these new ingredients will represent a value of 1 billion euros for these sectors. At the territorial level, the SCALE industrial platform will enable the creation of a hundred direct jobs by 2025.
For BBI JU, the financing of the first industrial biorefinery that will transform microalgae into superior quality ingredients with high nutritional value for food and cosmetic applications is a strategic priority. One of our main objectives is to reduce the risks associated with investments that have a significant socio-economic impact. SCALE is the first biorefinery of its kind to develop a new value chain dedicated to aquatic resources. It will help reduce the EU's dependence on massive imports of natural ingredients, while acting as a carbon sink. Finally, we are pleased to see an SME leading the highly qualified project team!Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of BBI JU
SCALE is managed by a top-level association
Microphyt coordinates a partnership of 11 key partners throughout the value chain. Each partner is an expert in its field and intervenes in complementarity in the program:
▪ Technology and energy solution providers (Evolys, SUNTI),
▪ End users in the nutrition and cosmetics markets (Institut Paul Bocuse, Plameca, Lallemand, Chanel).
▪ Regulatory (Nutrasteward) and sustainable development (TECNALIA) consulting firm,
▪ Consulting firm (PNO) and Bioeconomy Cluster (IAR).
The entire partnership met on June 30, 2021 for the SCALE kick-off meeting in the presence of representatives of the European Commission.
We are very proud to carry out such an ambitious project; SCALE responds to the challenges of population welfare and sustainable development. We have received strong commitment from our partners, as well as unprecedented support from the European Commission and the BBI JU. This is an important stage in our development that extends our current growth dynamics..Vincent Usache, Managing Director of Microphyt
Microphyt is a leading company in the production and marketing of natural active ingredients from microalgae. For more than 10 years, Microphyt has been extracting unique solutions for nutrition and well-being from microalgae. Developed in-house and patented, Microphyt's technologies enable the controlled production of a wide range of microalgae on an industrial scale and in a sustainable manner. The company currently employs 35 people. Recent highlights:
▪ A record fundraising of €28.5 M in June 2019.
▪ The U.S. commercial launch of the first BrainPhyt nutritional ingredient for the prevention of age-related cognitive decline (2020 - 2021).
▪ Four new unique natural ingredients in the pipeline for 2022 - 2023
▪ A sustainable production platform that has quadrupled (2020 - 21) and will continue to be deployed (2021 - 24).
▪ A doubling of its staff and strengthening of its governance (2020).
▪ The renewed selection of the company by the French government among 123 start-ups that will benefit from French Tech 120 support (2020 - 21).
About Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking
Under Horizon 2020, the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Its mission is to increase investments in the development of a sustainable industrial sector based on bio-based industries in Europe. This EU agency aims to deliver environmental and socio-economic benefits to European citizens, increase Europe's competitiveness and contribute to making Europe a key player in the research, demonstration and development of next-generation bio-based products. The BBI JU will also play an important role in the realization of a bioeconomy in Europe.
About Horizon 2020
The Horizon 2020 program brings together European Union research and development funding and is organized around three main priorities: scientific excellence, industrial supremacy and societal challenges. It came into force on January 1, 2014 and brings together for the first time in a single program, European research and development programs and supports projects along the development chain.
Information and press contacts for all participants and investors are available at www.microphyt.eu and in:
- Plameca - Spain - www.plameca.com
- Institut Paul Bocuse research center - France - www.institutpaulbocuse.com
- Lallemand - France - www.lallemand.com
- Chanel - France - www.chanel.com
- Tecnalia Research and Development Foundation - Spain www.tecnalia.com
- Evolys - Norway - www.evolys.no
- Sunti - France - www.sunti.fr
- NutraSteward Limited - United Kingdom - www.nutrasteward.com
- PNO Consultants - France - www.pnoconsultants.com
- IAR - The French Bioeconomy Cluster - France - www.iar-pole.com