23.07.2019 - What opportunities and challenges do algae offer as the raw material
of the future?
To discuss this question, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel invites all project partners and stakeholders from research and industry to the “FucoSan – from Science to Innovation Day 2019” in Kiel. The aim of the international event is an exchange of the research findings so far within the project.
29.04.2019 – On 27 April 2019, our project partner Xavier Fretté presented
FucoSan at the Danish Science Festival, the National Research Day. Almost 3,000 visitors came to the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. Xavier explained how Fucoidans can be helpful in
medicine and cosmetics and how the project partners extract and investigate them. "It was a good opportunity to tell the Danish population about our research activities," said the professor at
the Institute of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Technology.
19.03.2019 – Throughout the FucoSan project, new products and processes are being
developed. Dr Alexandra Cordeiro Baumgartner of the Patent and Utilisation Agency Schleswig-Holstein (PVA SH GmbH) informed the project partners about the possibility of securing these
innovations with patents.
The granting of a patent is linked to three conditions: The product, device or process must be new and original (i.e. not obvious). Furthermore, an industrial utilisation must be possible.
A patent prevents others from producing, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the same products in the country in which the patent was granted. For the FucoSan partners, it may be relevant that it is possible to obtain protection even if it is not clearly defined. For example, this kind of protection could be applied for a natural product manufactured under defined conditions.
The PVA SH is the central institution of scientific organisations for the
registration of industrial property rights in Schleswig-Holstein. Founded by all universities, technical colleges and the Technology Transfer Centre Schleswig-Holstein, PVA SH offers free
services in the field of industrial property protection for all employees of the state's universities and scientific institutes.
11.03.2019 – A first interim result that can be ‘grasped with hands’ has now been presented by oceanBasis: For
the prototype of a cream, fresh algae material of the type Fucus vesiculosus was used. ‘Our prototype has some excellent properties. For example, the cream is easy to spread and absorbs
quickly,’ says production manager Susanne Woldmann.
OceanBasis has specialised in making marine natural substances available for human health. In the FucoSan project, the Kiel-based company is looking for the most efficient extraction method for bioactivities relevant to cosmetics. ‘The cream fits very well into the oceanBASIS product line. Now we have to test further properties and the stability,’ continues Susanne Woldmann.
01.03.2019 – At the meeting on 25 and 26 February in Kiel, the
partners worked on identifying promising business models. Ferran Giones from the University of Southern Denmark, together with his colleagues from the Institute of Business Administration at
Christian-Albrechts-University, is responsible for the sustainability of the FucoSan project. ‘We wanted to know how our experts assess the market opportunities of individual parts of the FucoSan
value chain,’ says Giones. Criteria for the evaluation were economic factors such as compelling reason for purchase, economic feasibility, possible obstacles to implementation, time to
profitability and possible risks.
The discussion was based on the respective reports of the individual partners on algae collection and cultivation, extraction and characterisation of Fucoidans, the Fucoidan database and tests in the fields of ophthalmology, tissue engineering and cosmetics.
31.01.2019 – Philip Brodersen, M.Sc. Drug Research, has delivered
promising results in the characterisation of fucoidans with his master thesis. In his work, he compares two different methods for the purification of extracts. One of them is the established
method of Ehrig and Alban (2014) and the other the so-called diafiltration. ‘We have collected initial evidence that diafiltration can be a very good alternative. Furthermore, this process is
environmentally friendly and cost-effective as it does not require organic solvents,’ says Brodersen.
Although Fucus serratus and Fucus vesiculosus showed some significant results in activity and yield, it became clear that Fucus evanescens is the algae species with the best features for characterization. It achieves particularly satisfactory results in the three relevant categories of purity, yield and biological activity.
Philip Brodersen wrote his master's thesis at the Pharmaceutical Institute of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, while he completed his practical year as a pharmacist there in 2018. ‘The purification results are very useful for our further activities in the FucoSan project,’ explains Professor Susanne Alban, Director of the Institute.
05.01.2018 – In its December issue, the Pharmaceutical newspaper
published an article about the FucoSan project. The article ‘Algae for the eyes’ informs about the beginnings of the project and emphasises the importance of fucoidans for medical and
The Pharmaceutical newspaper is the central organ for the pharmacists of the Federal Republic of Germany and is published by the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverband e.V. (ABDA).
to the online publication:
03.12.2018 – The fourth meeting of FucoSan partners was hosted by the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen. Prof. Anne S. Meyer and Maria Dalgaard Mikkelsen from the Institute of Chemical Technology gave an insight into the university's laboratories.
The highlight of the meeting was Professor Susanne Alban. The director of the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology at the Kiel University presented the first version of the database. The database
will be developed browser-based during the course of the project and, as soon as it is online, will be filled with the data collected by all partners involved in the characterisation of the
In the first step, the database will be used purely within the project. At a later stage, concepts to ensure their sustainability will be discussed. Finally, the goal is access for the scientific use of Fucoidans.
19.10.2018 - Project partner Daniel Laufs from University of Kiel presented the FucoSan project at the WHINN 2018 in Odense. The international conference for health technologies and innovation addresses representatives from research, economy, education and politics. Therefore, there were many references regarding the interdisciplinary approach of a German-Danish value chain centred on fucoidans.
18.10.2018 - At the SDU Sønderborg, engineering students took part in a business game, organised by Ferran Giones, Assistant Professor for Technology Entrepreneurship at the SDU. The students were in the role of a new project manager of FucoSan. Their task was to search for existing patents with fucoidans and then to map an innovation ecosystem around the FucoSan technologies and their various applications. In the end, the ‘managers’ were asked to present the results of their research and answer the question: ‘Does it seem like a promising market to you?’
04.10.2018 - How do application fields emerge from laboratory research? How do this application fields shape technology commercialisation opportunities? And what are the key actors when it comes to bringing new technologies and solutions out of the lab to be deployed? FucoSan project partner Daniel Laufs from the Institute of Technology Management at the Kiel University set out his approach to answer these questions at the International Conference on Engineering 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. On the basis of the project FucoSan, Daniel Laufs pointed out the opportunities of strengthening genuine innovation ecological systems by reflecting the ties of converging technologies. His approach is based on the linking of field research, network- and patent analysis. Completely new scopes and marketing options in the medical sector could be exploited for FucoSan. For this purpose mediators are needed to play a major role during the transfer of new technologies from the status of basic research to their application orientated development to the final state of application and practice. The conference presentation is followed by a specialist publication.
01.08.2018 - Research is still on the trail of the various applications of microalgae: Professor Søren Laurentius Nielsen from Roskilde University in Denmark was invited by the FucoSan partners to Kiel to present his research results on the production and use of microalgae biomass. In a recently completed project, Professor Nielsen has worked on improving and industrialising the production of live fish feed based on small crustaceans. He has reconstructed a natural food chain from microalgae to crustaceans to fish in a controlled environment on an industrial scale.
Professor Nielsen is a member of the project advisory board of FucoSan. The project partners invited him to the lecture in order to gain insights for their work. Project coordinator Professor Dr. Alexa Klettner: ‘With Professor Nielsen, we have brought a top-class expert to Kiel. The components of microalgae can be very interesting for a variety of applications, including health.’
The talk take place on Thursday, 20th September 2018, at 5 pm at the lecture hall of the UKSH-Augenklinik (UKSH-eye hospital) in Kiel.
06.09.2018 - Thinking about algae – what springs to your mind? A vague memory of the latest Baltic Sea vacation or the last time you visited a sushi restaurant, which has already been too long ago? The widespread sea plant offers more than most people know. Read the complete article within the Interreg Newsletter in German | in Danish.
01.08.2018 - The networking of users and developers of ‘blue biotechnology’ is an
important issue on the conference ‘Blue Biotechnology in Baltic Sea Region’. At the event, FucoSan is presented in a poster presentation and plans to establish further contacts in the Baltic Sea
region. The conference is organised by the ‘Baltic Blue Biotech Alliance’ project, which is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region. From the 22nd to 24th of August, about 120 participants from
science and industry discuss the research field of ‘blue technology’ in Greifswald.
For conference information: www.balticbluealliance-conference.eu
01.08.2018 - In order to effectively achieve the common goal of a successful Fucoidan
characterisation, four PhD students of the project partners Kiel University and University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein met in Kiel on the 19th of July in 2018.
The young scientists exchanged experiences, discussed the scientific problem and coordinated their further work processes. The first meeting is being followed by a regular exchange every two months.
01.08.2018 - During the joint project meeting on the 31st of May in Kiel, the
scientists exchanged their initial experiences gained by extracting and characterising fucoidans.
Beforehand, the project partners had produced several extracts out of different types of algae, provided by project partner CRM, partly harvested at own site, partly bought from external suppliers. The fucoidans of the six utilised algae differ in their chemical properties. Depending on origin, molecular size as well as the test system fucoidans can provoke opposite effects. Purification and exact characterisation therefore are essential. During these processes, the partners determine parameters like degree of sulphation, protein concentration, monosaccharide composition and molecular mass.
As a next step, the partners generate further extracts of algae in order to produce larger amounts of fucoidans and to verify the previous results.
02.06.2018 - The Project Advisory Group had its first meeting on 1 June. Its members praised the mature systematic and comprehensive approach of the project. They also provided valuable information on networking opportunities and the further course of action of the project partners. It became clear during the discussion that the FucoSan partners need partners from industry, especially for the production of medical products. Back row (from left to right):
22.05.2018 - The warmest April since the beginning of weather recording also caused the water temperatures to rise early this year. Some brown algae do not tolerate this well, they prefer the cooler water as they are originally native to the North Atlantic. In the cooler months also sufficient nutrients are available in the water, which are important for algae growth.
That is why project partner Verena Sandow from CRM had to harvest the sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima), which she cultivates in an algae farm, early and resettle it in tanks. The biologist took a harvesting boat to the Kiel Fjord and cut off 30 kg of fresh leaves. ‘We had to bring in the algae and mussel larvae, which now occur massively with the heat.’
Now, they swim in the water tanks at CRM and wait to be processed for characterisation.
28.05.2018 - Project coordinator Professor Alexa Klettner was invited to the Makula Round Table in Rostov-on-Don, Russia to present the FucoSan project. The renowned Interyuna Eye Clinic brought together international experts from 18 to 20 May to discuss the topic of macular pathology and healing methods. Professor Klettner's lecture triggered a very positive feedback and a lively discussion about the use of fucoidans in ophthalmology.
05.01.2018 - During the winter semester, Professor Carsten Schultz and Daniel Laufs (M.Sc.), project partners of Kiel University, are offering a seminar for carrying out patent analysis elaborating on and interpreting long-term technology and market developments. The focus is on the sustainable use of maritime resources in the Baltic sea. During the seminar, another project partner, OceanBasis, is providing input in the field of cosmetics.
13.12.2017 - Junior professor Ferran Giones (SDU) introduced FucoSan to Norwegian scientists who examine the digestive effect of fucoidans for animals. The experts exchanged information about their research work and discussed, among othes, the extraction possibilities for bioactive substances. The FucoSan-partners were able to enrich the exchange with their supplementary expertise. Additionally, first ideas for a Fucoidan-network of the Nordic countries arised.
06.12.2017 - During the second ‘International Symposium of Marine Enzymes and Polysaccharides’ in Vietnam, Maria Mikkelsen (Technical University of Denmark) presented the project FucoSan. On the conference the latest developments in scientific and clinical research on maritime enzymes and polysaccharides were discussed.
27.11.2017 - As of now, FucoSan has an official logo. The project partners decided for a lettering that contains the project name as well as a brown alga and its habitat, the water.
The project acronym consists of two parts: ‘Fuco’ stands for Fucoidan which is the active substance to be examined. ‘San’ indicates the health-enhancing properties of Fucoidans.
20.10.2017 - The project partners met for the first joint project meeting in Odense and discussed about status and further procedure of the individual work packages. Providing brown algae and extracting fucoidans are key issues and required for the project’s success.
20.06.2017 - The trade journal marine drugs publishes an article written by the FucoSan partner University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery. The team around Professor Sabine Fuchs has investigated the properties of fucoidans and is looking at possible applications to limit angiogenesis, e.g. in osteosarcomas.
17.05.2017 - The first official project meeting marked the start for the cooperation of 50 project partners from eight research institutions and companies. The partners from Germany and Denmark work together for 36 months to achieve a common goal: Extracting fucoidans from brown algae and analysing them for application in medicine and cosmetics.
14.12.2016 - The Interreg Monitoring Commitee held a meeting in the Danish town Sorø and approved the project application of FucoSan. The Interreg program Deutschland-Danmark provides funding of 2.2 million Euros for the coming three years.