ReSpirA – Olive oil wastewater Reuse for the production and commercialisation of Spirulina Alga

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The November 11, 2015, the Twitter page dedicated to European projects H2020 SME Instrument congratulated the 141 winning companies of STEP 1. Among these highly innovative companies, spread across the entire European continent, only 30 are from Italy, including GreenTech Srl.

The Startup presented a project entitled “ReSpirA – Olive oil wastewater Reuse for the production and commercialisation of Spirulina Alga“.

We aim to find out what exactly this entails.

 

What is the SME Instrument?

The SME instrument is a financial instrument consisting of three phases, dedicated to companies with innovative potential that want to develop project ideas from which to draw a competitive advantage in international markets. This tool is part of the broader Horizon2020 program formulated by the European Union in support of research and innovation. The Framework Programme (2014-2020) is aimed at promoting a society based on knowledge and technological innovation, and following to a smart, sustainable and inclusive model. For this purpose, Europe bestows grants to support innovative and functional projects.

The First Step, which was won by GreenTech SrL, is intended to finance a feasibility study to be carried out within a period of six months with a budget of 50,000 Euros. The aim is to draw up a solid business plan which contains market analysis and detailed marketing studies and which demonstrates the commercial potential of the idea.

 

The “ReSpirA ” project. What is it?

“ReSpirA” is an acronym for “Olive oil wastewater Reuse for the production and commercialisation of Spirulina Alga”. This Italian start up, through the use of appropriate technologies, introduces an innovation process to take advantage of the waste water produced by food companies, especially the olive oil mills, for Spirulina microalgae cultivation.

Researchers from GreenTech SrL have been studying microalgae for many years, investigating their innumerable applications from the field of energy and biodiesel production, to that of nutraceuticals. It is known that other cultures, distant in space and time from the West, include algae and microalgae in their diet to provide energy and resistance to disease to those who use it.

GreenTech SrL mainly studied Spirulina algae, which have the scientific name Arthrospira platensis.

This micro-organism has a blue-green colour and a peculiar spiral shape. It also has a high protein content, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Countless studies have shown that its intake, combined with a healthy diet, can bring numerous benefits for human health and physical beauty: it strengthens the immune system, increases physical endurance and muscle development, amplifies intellectual concentration and memory, acts as an antioxidant, cleanses and detoxifies the body, combats anemia andacne, gives a sense of satiety, helps the integrity of the skin and hair and much more.

The properties of the algae are enhanced by those of the polyphenols,which are rich in some of these wastewater sources. Polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, and they are anticancerogenic as well as antiatherogenic.

In a nutshell, with “ReSpirA” by GreenTech SrL, the waste water which once was a source of pollution for the environment which can be harmful to humans, becomes a valuable resource for human health.

 

What does the SME Instrument do for a small business enterprise?

Europe, by lending funds to small companies such as GreenTech SrL, shows that it wants to be on the side of innovative ideas, to believe in the work of small and proactive entrepreneurs and to build a new future beyond the economic crisis.

For GreenTech SrL, winning Phase 1 of the SME Instrument means having the quality of their research publicly recognised and also receiving encouragement to continue with their work, even though it still has quite a long way to go before it brings the anticipated results. If you are interested in what we have reported here, stay tuned to our blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages, and soon we will share furtherimportant items of news and information.

 

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