Provectus Algae: Revolutionising biomanufacturing for a more sustainable future
Nusqe Spanton, Founder and CEO of Provectus Algae, spent 17 years working on some of the latest aquaculture operations in the pearl oyster industry. A key part of successful oyster farming is identifying and delivering precise nutritional requirements, in the form of novel algae species, to the oysters at the optimal time in their development cycle.
Throughout these years, Nusqe spent time analysing the molecular composition of novel algae species and learning how to cultivate the best candidates at commercial scale to support farming operations.
Over time Nusqe came to realise that some of the compounds within the algae had the potential to be far more valuable than the pearls. Furthermore, as Nusqe began to experiment with his own novel lighting systems, he was able to achieve growth rates outside of commercial and academic precedent. Recognising an opportunity to use microalgae to revolutionise bioproduction in both quality, cost and sustainability, Nusqe founded Provectus Algae in 2018 to bring microalgae’s benefits to the world. Here’s an excerpt of our interview.
Pls talk to us about your new approach to bio-manufacturing. How big of an impact will this make?
Nusqe Spanton: Biomanufacturing, in general, shows extraordinary promise for significant reduction in environmental impact due to increased efficiency when compared to conventional practices currently deployed by agriculture and the chemical synthetics industry. By leveraging a 3.5 billion-year head start that microalgae has in producing valuable molecules from the abundant resources of light and CO2, we are building a new biomanufacturing solution that will be a key pillar in the landscape tomorrow.
Think less CO2 emissions, and in some cases, even negative. No longer a requirement for arable land, less overall energy consumption, while at the same time, improving the quality of products for multiple industries and making available previously unthinkable novel products with high performance qualities.
"By leveraging a 3.5-billion-year head start that microalgae has in producing valuable molecules from the abundant resources of light and CO2, we are building a new biomanufacturing solution that will be a key pillar in the landscape tomorrow."
What are the immediate benefits that can be accrued by using this technology?
Nusqe Spanton: Through a step change in our approach to biomanufacturing using microalgae, we can unlock solutions that aren't yet available in the marketplace. Here are some of the key benefits that corporate companies engaged in trade of specialty molecules can look forward to from this technology:
Improved Sustainability - Reduce the CO2 emissions associated with production by employing a more efficient manufacturing process.
Convert Synthetic to Natural - Replace undesirable chemical synthetics with higher quality, natural and biosynthetic products.
Clean Label Opportunities - Bring existing products to the market in new ways to service natural, GMO free and vegan markets.
Discover or Create Molecules - Discover new products through the process of bioprospecting or use algae as the host to develop new biosynthetic products.
Supply Chain Security - Secure the supply of important molecules, mitigating risk of seasonal variation, logistic challenges & adverse political impact.
What are the key stumbling blocks in scaling your solution globally and how do you plan to address these issues?
Nusqe Spanton: Deploying new facilities in countries all over the world will have its challenges from an operational, compliant and logistics perspective, although nothing cannot be overcome. From a product perspective, there will be some regulatory barriers that may need to be addressed for novel products in each jurisdiction that the product will need to be sold in. Also, sourcing best-in-class talent for all our departments as we continue to grow quickly will be a challenge, but one that we are absolutely prepared for.
In the next 10 years, how do you see Provectus Algae contributing in the climate change fight?
Nusqe Spanton: The most frictionless path to fight climate change is to align more sustainable practices with increased quality and better economics, creating a market pull towards sustainable solutions. This is exactly what biomanufacturing with algae is able to do.
As we further improve the efficiency of our production platform, we will work closer and closer to carbon negative production. This means we could potentially remove CO2 from the atmosphere while producing better products at more competitive prices for our customers. In this sense, the more solutions we can deploy for corporate customers over the next decade, the more positive the environmental impact of our operation will be.
Nusqe Spanton, Founder and CEO of Provectus Algae, will be speaking at the upcoming Impact X Summit Sydney 2021: Climate growth and accelerating pathways to zero emissions. To register to attend the conference, click here.
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