Integrated Biorefinery Concept for Bioeconomy Driven Development (INDEPENDENT)
Project INDEPENDENT is carried out as part of the Competitive Sectors Programme co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, and implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
With Project INDEPENDENT, it’s aimed to obtain products and technologies for energy and health sectors, which are the main current account deficit items of Turkey, with an integrated production system based on a bioeconomy-oriented growth model, from entirely algae-based natural resources without being dependent on fossil resources.
It is planned to develop human food supplement products, pharmaceutical components, animal feed practices, organic fertilizers and biofuels from microalgae and macroalgae to be cultivated in algae production reactors to be installed on land and sea. The zero-waste targeted facility will become the first carbon-negative integrated biorefinery in Turkey and Europe when it starts operating at full capacity.
Approximately 1,200 tons of wet algae mass per year will be processed at the plant to be established. And as part of the Competitive Sectors Programme, consultancy, project development, technology transfer, test and analysis services will be provided to the SMEs operating in various sectors, particularly in food, energy, environment, and health sectors, and industrial development will be ensured by creating jobs.
The implementation process of Project INDEPENDENT (Integrated Biorefinery Concept for Bioeconomy Driven Development) has started on December 18, 2019 by earning the right to be supported by the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance Programme (IPA) as part of the Competitive Sectors Programme conducted by the Ministry of industry and Technology, Directorate General for EU and Foreign Affairs, EU Financial Programmes Department.
With Project INDEPENDENT, it is aimed to obtain products and technologies for food, agriculture, livestock, and environmental sectors, particularly energy and health, the main current account deficit items of Turkey, with an integrated production system based on a growth model focused on bioeconomy. In order to process sustainable natural resources based entirely on algae without depending on fossil resources, an integrated carbon-negative biorefinery system with a zero-waste target has been designed under the umbrella of Istanbul Microalgae Biotechnologies Research and Development Center (IMBIYOTAB) operating on Boğaziçi University’s Sarıtepe Campus within the scope of the project.
Dietary supplement products, pharmaceutical ingredients, animal feed practices, organic biofertilizers and biofuels are being developed from algae cultivated in 80m3 outdoor ponds and 30 m3 indoor production reactors installed at an R&D area and production site of 2,500 square meters. The fully wind-powered plant is the first carbon-negative integrated biorefinery in Turkey and Europe.
The total €5.7 million budget of the project is funded by the European Commission at 85% and the Ministry of Industry and Technology at 15% as part of the Competitive Sectors Programme. Within the scope of Project INDEPENDENT, consultancy, project development, know-how and technology transfer, equipment design, product test and analysis services are provided to the SMEs operating in various sectors that utilize algae-based products, such as petrochemical, cosmetics, textiles, particularly in the project’s target sectors, within the scope of Government University Industry Collaboration (KÜSİ) and industrial development is ensured by creating jobs.