Today marks the start of the first EU Summit on Algae Awareness in Paris until October 7th. The summit aims to increase public awareness of algae and algae-based products, boost demand for these products, and stimulate the development of the algae sector in the European Union.
This three-day event is organized by the European Commission, the French Government, and the Global Seaweed Coalition, with the support of the Oceanographic Institute and the Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation putting algae in the spotlight.
Specifically, the event divides into two phases. From October 5th to 6th, the first will see the Maison de l'Océan in Paris hosting representatives from the EU public sector, algae entrepreneurs, SMEs, startups, researchers, and academics for panel discussions. There will be opportunities for debate and the exhibition of innovative algae-related projects. The second phase, on October 7th, will be open to the public, featuring inspiring speeches and tastings of algae-based recipes.
Algae, beyond the collective imagination, have a wide range of applications, including food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging, and biofuels. Additionally, their cultivation can help regenerate oceans by removing nutrients that cause eutrophication.
For these reasons, the EU is one of the world's largest importers of algae. Moreover, experts anticipate that demand will reach EUR 9 billion (USD 9,45 million) by 2030.
However, despite their benefits, the algae sector still requires development, mainly due to a lack of awareness of their benefits and economic opportunities, as well as limited consumer acceptance of algae-based products.
In November 2022, the European Commission adopted the EU Algae Initiative to harness the potential of algae. Furthermore, in February 2022, stakeholders from within and outside the EU came together to create the European Algae Stakeholder Forum (EU4Algae Forum) to facilitate collaboration and information exchange in the algae sector. Today, this conference in France marks another significant step in the promising journey of algae in Europe.