Phyconomy is a new project to track the economy of algae that is emerging outside of Asia.
Algae hold a lot of promise to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems, but progress is constrained by a lack of investment. That lack of investment can partly be explained by a dearth of investible projects in a sector that is still dominated by academics.
But in part it’s also because of a lack of knowledge from the investment community. Phyconomy hopes to shine a light on the business of algae as it continues to grow in the coming years, to help draw up a fuller picture of the risks and opportunities that algae present.
Another oft-heard lament concerns the fragmented state of the algae world. Despite the conferences, lobby groups, umbrella organisations and interregional research projects, everyone is often still on their own island reinventing the wheel. Perhaps Phyconomy can play a part here as well in facilitating the flow of knowledge.
My first project is a database of all companies in the algae business, both macroalgae and microalgae. There are about 500 companies so far. I am still finding new ones.
A second project is an industry guide to seaweed, microalgae and harmful algae blooms (HABs): production methods, markets and applications, regional clusters, funding. I am just getting started with this – more updates soon.