The €10m equity investment in AlgaEnergy, a sinout of the University of Seville that specialises in the production of microalgae, is Yokogawa's first step into commercial biotech.
The unicellular photosynthetic microalgae can be used in a wide range of applications from agriculture, food, and animal feed through to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biomaterials and, in the future, sustainable biofuels. The deal includes worldwide collaboration on R&D, manufacturing, marketing and sales.
AlgaEnergy has been a pioneer in the microalgae biotechnology field since 2007 and operates a commercial production facility in the south of Spain. The investment will be used to expand its sales of biostimulant products that help boost crop yields, entry into new sectors such as food and cosmetics, and development of its product pipeline. Yokogawa will provide technology and expertise in industrial process automation for volume production.
“Yokogawa aims to contribute directly to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through its core business activities, and this year we established a new Life Innovation business unit in line with that. This is our first serious foray into clean technology in the bioeconomy, which was recently added as a new focus area in our long-term business framework, so we have high expectations for this exciting strategic partnership,” said Tsuyoshi Abe, senior vice president and head of the Marketing Headquarters at Yokogawa.