The microalgae sector in the Mediterranean

Published : Wednesday 27 July 2016 - Jean-Louis RASTOIN, Kelly ROBIN

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The Mediterranean region faces various constraints that represent a great challenge: climate change jeopardising crop levels and increasing health risks, severe environmental degradation, high social gaps, economic competitiveness threatened by international competition, etc.

In this regard, it is necessary to reflect upon and implement innovative solutions so that the Mediterranean cities and territories confronted with environmental, economic, social and political crises can adapt. The Mediterranean region has a great number of assets such as a broad maritime and land space, great biodiversity, high-level solar power, economic growth potential, extraordinary heritage based on ancient expertise and culture.

A huge effort must be made in terms of technological and organisational innovation in order to highlight this potential. Exploiting the biomass - and microalgae in particular, as they are a major component of the biomass - is a path that must be explored. Microalgae have many assets, but the technological and economic models to promote are still unclear.

This is why IPEMED decided to carry out an exploratory study on this topic and present the main applications of microalgae as well as the technologies that could be used in the Mediterranean, in the pursuit of sustainable development. The study carried out by Louis RASTOIN - Professor Emeritus at Montpellier SupAgro, Scientific Advisor of the Unesco chair in World Food Systems - and coordinated by Kelly Robin - project officer - provides a comprehensive overview of the development potential of the sector in the North and in the South of the Mediterranean, according to the types of applications and to the preferred economic models. It offers operational recommendations in order to increase the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in this sector.

The report (in French) is available for download in its entirety. The synthesis that contains the conclusions and recommendations of the report is available in French and in English.


Table of contents:

  • Foreword of Professor Hatem BEN OUADA, Head of research in Marine Biotechnology, National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology (INSTM), Monastir -  in French
  • Foreword of Dr. Laurenz Thomsen, Professor of Geosciences, Director of Ocean Lab Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen -  in French
  • Executive Summary -  in French & English
  • Introduction -  in French
  • 1st part: The Mediterranean, between crises and adaptation: data regarding the physical, demographic and macroeconomic frameworks of the Mediterranean region and issues triggered by food and environmental crises today and in the medium term (2050). -  in French
  • 2nd part: Main applications of microalgae and technologies that can be exploited in the pursuit of sustainable development. -  in French
  • 3nd part: Microalgae development prospects. -  in French          
  • Conclusions et recommendations -  in French & English             

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