SWALG – the Swiss Algae Consortium Association – was founded in May 2018. It is a non-profit organization that serves as a platform to promote algae-related activities in Switzerland and beyond.
The goal of SWALG
The aim of the organization is to promote research, development and commercialization of algal technology through knowledge transfer, collaborations, events and advisory services by a network of experts. The founders are Swiss researchers active in this field.
The team is committed to bridge the gap between various stakeholders in academia, industry and federal bodies to enable the utilization of algae as a sustainable resource and environmental management commodity. The association is open to businesses, start-ups and citizens. In fact, anyone who is interested in knowing more about algae is welcome.
Known for their antioxidants, nutrients and cleaning properties, algae provide new hope for the future. As a rich source of dietary fiber, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E, seaweed is used to produce dietary food and supplements. Some even see it as a potential solution to food shortage.
And there is more. Scientists have recently been developing biofuel production systems powered by algae which, according to some, might be the solution to the energy crisis. An example of such research is the project on combined algae cultivation with dye sensitized solar cells of the Institute of Life Technologies of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and EPFL. Other projects along the same lines are carried out by the PSI and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.
The cosmetic industry is also looking into algae for their anti-aging virtues, notably for cosmeceutical products.
The potential of algae is very high.
The SWALG committee and foundation members:
Dr Mariluz Bagnoud, Center for Studies and Technological Transfer of HEIG-VD (CeTT)
Dr Dominik Refardt, Institute of Natural Resource Sciences, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr Christian Ludwig, head of the Chemical Processes and Materials research group in the Energy and Environment Division at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Adjunct professor at EPFL in the field of Solid Waste Treatment
Prof. Dr Fabian Fischer, Professor and researcher at the Life Technologies Institute and the Energy Institute, School of Engineering of HES-SO Valais-Wallis
Dr Bhavish Patel, Post-Doctoral fellow at the Paul Scherrer Institute working on thermal recovery of Phosphorus from natural bioresource.
Eya Damergi, PhD student at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)