From Micro Algae to High-Value Omega-3-Rich Algae Oils



Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 17/10/2013
Duration: 30/11/2013 – 30/05/2016
Total budget: €1.103.802
Subsidy: €923.806
Project Partners


Air Layer Fiber Bonding: Valorisation of Post-Industrial PUR Waste and Thermoplastic Fibers


Project Details
Project type: O&O (CoöperatiefPLUS)
Approved on: 17/10/2013
Duration: 31/12/2013 – 30/12/2015
Total budget: €970.973
Subsidy: €520.406
Project Partners


The study BlueChem (2012-2016) investigated the technical and economical feasibility of an incubator/accelerator for sustainable chemistry in Flanders and if the Blue Gate Antwerp site (the former ‘Petroleum Zuid’ site) can be a suitable location. The study, consisted of two fases after which a final business plan and technical plan were made. Both these fases were subsidized and supported by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen.

BlueChem will open in 2020 on the climate-neutral business park Blue Gate Antwerp, in the heart of one of the largest chemical clusters in the world. It is not easy in the chemical sector to convert promising innovations into new companies. It takes a lot of time, dare and money to move from a lab setting to an industrial production scale.


BlueChem offers adapted infrastructure, tailor-made services with financial support and direct access to knowledge and expertise within an extensive network of international chemical companies, renowned research centers and five Flemish universities.

BlueChem is the right accommodation at the right place to allow pioneering ideas, with a strong focus on sustainability and the circular economy, to grow from lab experiment to new chemical companies.

The incubator offers a mix of fully equipped and customizable labs, individual offices and flexible workplaces where starters, SMEs, large companies, research centers and knowledge institutes can come together. Catalisti will also take an active role in BlueChem to detect, start and guide promising innovation projects.

For the building project, BlueChem can count on the support of the European and Flemish government. Europe invests more than 3.4 million euros through the Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO). Flanders contributes 868.397 euros through the Hermes Fund. The city of Antwerp invests 4 million euros.

More info
More specifics and contact details can be found on the BlueChem website

Flemish Algae Platform

The goal of this project is to create a network for all Flemish organizations (companies, research institutions and associations) that currently have activities concerning micro algae or that would like to have activities with micro algae in the future. This network will facilitate and encourage the embedding of existing algae activities and the development of new micro algae related business activities. The activities which will be carried out in this project aim to map, inform and motivate the various actors in the algae value chain and guide their innovation trajectories. The Flemish Algae Platform will also identify and resolve collective needs of technological, economic and regulatory nature, creating a favorable environment for the development of a Flemish micro algae economy.

In the field of micro-algae there is a strong need for such a project because of the strategic importance and the early development stage of most of the activities and collaborations.

On their own initiative, several research institutes and companies active in the ‘algae economy’ founded the ‘Flemish Algae Platform’ on their own in 2009. The goal was to promote algae, to manage the existing initiatives, to represent the Flemish algae activities abroad and to develop and communicate a micro algae vision and roadmap in order to support Flemish policy in this matter. Up to now the VAP functioned thanks to the voluntary contribution of the initiators. Some very successful events around microalgae were organized with an unexpectedly large turnout (more than a hundred companies and knowledge centers active in all Flemish sectors: chemistry, life sciences, textiles, food, agriculture, technology, energy, government).

Within the framework of the new competence pool FISCH, the algae activities will be expanded. As with any FISCH Innovation Program, a roadmap will be developed for the Micro-Algae Program. The roadmap will provide a description of the value chain as well as a long-term vision linked to specific needs to enable its realization. In addition to developing the roadmap, there is also a need for networking and innovation stimulation, the VAP project will fill these needs. The VAP project will be a breeding ground for initiating concrete collaborative and collective projects that fit within the FISCH Micro-Algae Innovation Program.

More information on

Project Details
Project type: VIS
Approved on: 17/10/2012
Duration: 30/11/2012 – 29/11/2014
Total budget: €256.555
Subsidy: €205.244
Project Partners

Plant on a Truck

The valuation study Plant on a Truck (or POAT) aims to contribute to the creation of a new company, Avore, which provides integrated, chemical-technological solutions for the valorization of process (side)streams through flexible, modular and mobile units.

In a first phase, the focus within Avore will be on the on-site recovery of pharmaceutical and chemical secondary flows, that cannot be recycled or valorized within the current process (non-core for the process/business). The goal is to treat the secondary flows on site, close to the production process, to eliminate the use of holding tanks and central processing. The mobile, modular units will be constructed in a way that they can subsequently be used for the valorization of other process (side)streams (= flexible units). But first, the most appropriate business model should be optimized to attract (additional) investors. To support the business model, technological proof of concept is needed for a number of side streams. During proof of concept the economic feasibility can also be evaluated.

Both the pharmaceutical and chemical industry are investing in sustainable processes. They do this partly by making use of process intensification, which should lead to safer processes, less emissions and waste, less consumption of energy and raw materials (energy and atom efficiency), smaller systems, lower costs and shorter time-to-market. Alternatively the companies invest in sustainability by using renewable raw materials in their processes. This shift of the typical petroleum-based industry to a more biomass-based industry requires not only new conversion processes, but also more flexible, modular and even mobile installations for reaction and separation that enable a more intensified approach. In addition to a broad chemical expertise this transformation also requires thoroughly understanding process technology (= translate the chemical solution in an efficient process) and process engineering (= translation of the process in an operating system) to be able to actually realize and implement the most viable chemical solution. Avore will combine this knowledge and translate it to practical solutions for its customers with a strong emphasis on modular and transportable production units, which the company will produce itself.

Press Publications
Mobiele zuiveringsinstallatie haalt zink uit proceswater – NPT Magazine – 18 May 2020

Carboleum 1

Catalytic Conversion of Carbohydrate Sidestreams to Develop New, Innovative Chemical Applications


Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 20/12/2012
Duration: 01/04/2013 – 31/03/2015
Total budget: €1.036.462
Subsidy: €673.322
Project Partners

Questions about this project? Please contact catalyst Luc Van Ginneken (

Algaemill: valorisation study

Momenteel werken een consortium van private ondernemingen, onderzoekscentra en een intercommunale in het pilootproject ‘ALCHEMIS’ samen aan de verdere ontwikkeling van een algen-productiefaciliteit en aan de downstream processing van afgeleide producten op pilootschaal. Dit ALCHEMIS-project wordt financieel ondersteund door MIP en IWT. De operationele resultaten van dit consortium bewijzen dat deze technologie rendabel kan worden.

De volgende stap in de opschaling van de technologie naar volledig industriële schaal is de realisatie van een demonstratie-installatie met een totale oppervlakte van 3 hectare, waarvan 1 hectare bruikbare oppervlakte. Deze installatie moet industriële hoeveelheden van algen produceren vanaf primaire grondstoffen en vanaf nevenstromen, en de geproduceerde algen verder raffineren en converteren naar allerhande algen-producten. Voor deze stap is er een consortium van partners nodig die samen het volledig geïntegreerde productieproces afdekken. Alle consortiumpartners zullen in staat zijn hun technologie te ontwikkelen en op de markt te brengen en daarbij hun eigen intellectuele eigendom te behouden en te valoriseren. Op deze manier zal het consortium evolueren naar een ‘total solution provider’ en de demonstratieplant naar een algen- raffinaderij.

De doelstelling van deze valorisatiestudie is het uitwerken van een business model voor een dergelijke industriële demonstratie-installatie voor de productie van micro-algen en hun producten.