The University of Almería (The Biotechnology of Marine Microalgae Group and the Centre for Agrifood Biotechnology- BITAL), the Andalusian Energy Agency, the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MASciR) are willing to organize an advanced training seminar/workshop in Almería, from 20 to 24 October 2014.

This seminar/workshop could be sponsored by the InterAcademic Group for Development (GID, Paris), EuroMediterranean Academic Network (EMAN), and thus benefit from the inputs from the national Academies of Science and/or Technology in the EuroMediterranean region.
The main aim of the proposed seminar/workshop (with a duration of five days) is to link advancements in scientific and technological knowledge with the needs and constraints of technical jobs and professional occupations within specific social contexts. It is intended for young professionals who are already employed, or about to start their career in the area of microalgal biotechnology and its diverse applications, as well as for PhD students (post-graduates).
The language of the seminar will be English.


The objective of the Almería seminar/workshop is to share and update the latest information on the achievements of microalgal biotechnology in the EuroMediterranean region, through interactive lectures by highly qualified experts. The second stage of the seminar will be focused on the professional and technical aspects, through the exchange of experience, technolgy assesment, best practices as well as approaches to problem-solving.While the participants in the seminar will present their national or regional programmes/projects, technology experts will be present (as well as some keynote speakers) to engage in interactive discussions, taking account of the various social contexts of the countries represented. These discussions will deal with the participants´ professional challenges concerning the design and implementation of their R&D projects (e.g. their economic relevance).

Field visits are a key of component of the seminar/ workshop: laboratories, pilot plants in Almería and companies in the vicinity. These visits will provide excellent opportuinities for an in-depth exchange of information and viewpoints among scientists, technicians and decision-makers; the participants will therefore be able to test their own experience, projects or expectations in the context of commercial-scale programmes, and finally bring back home some useful messages (particularly in terms of know-how). 


Participants are either junior professionals working in universities, research institutes or private companies, on microalgal biotechnology projects; or post-graduate students (M.Sc.,, PhDs in microalgology, bioengineering, design and utilization of bioreactors, extraction and commercialization of algal products). The Academies of Science and Technology of EuroMediterranean countries (through the EuroMediterranean Academic Network, EMAN), in close cooperation with the national scientific and technological institutions, are expected to play a key role in proposing candidates for the seminar. The local organizers will also call on experts in order to suggest candidates.

Candidates should send a CV and motivation letter to the Commitetee before July 31, 2014 by using the application email

The selection of the candidates will be made by an ad-hoc committee including the local organizer and the representatives of the main sponsors of the seminar/workshop. Only two representatives per country will be able to attend the seminar.

Accomodation and meal expenses of the participants will be borne by the seminar/workshop´s budget. Travel support (through the most economic way) will be reviewed on a case- by- case approach.Additional participants (from a specific country) should self-finance their travel costs, after approval by the organizing committee and depending on the local capacity. When visas are necessary to enter Spain the participants should obtain them through their own means and using the invitation letter.

Organizing committee

An organizing committee, chaired by Prof. Emilio Molina Grima, from the University of Almería, will be in charge of organizing the seminar/workshop (e.g. design of the final programme, field visits, logistics). In addtion to local academics, scientists and technicians, it will work in close collaboration with Prof. Albert Sasson, Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology, Morocco.

The University of Almería Centre for Agrifood Biotechnology (BITAL) and the Vice-Rectorate for International Relations and Cooperation for Development (Prof. El Hassan Belarbi Haftallaoui) will also play a key role in the organization of, and support for, the seminar/workshop.

Preliminary programme

Day 0

Arrival of participants in Almería; accomodation and registration.
First day
09:00- 09:30
Registration and welcome of particpants.
Opening session: Introductory speeches.

  • Rector of the University of Almería.
  • Prof. Emilio Molina Grima.

Presentation of speakers and participants.
General discussion among participants, moderated by the seminar/workshop´s main organizer, in order to adjust and approve the agenda.
Keynote address on: “Current achievements and bioindustrial prospects for microalgae”.
Miguel García Guerrero, Director-General of Foundation CSIC, Madrid, Spain; Institute of Photosynthesis and Biochemistry, Seville, Spain.
11:30- 12:00
12:00- 13:30
Three presentations (20 minutes each) and general discussion, by EuroMediterranean experts on:

  • Microalgae and production of high-value bioactive products, including commercial achievements or prospects.
  • Microalgae and production of biofuels: reality or myth?
  • Microalgae production in large volumes: technical challenges, economic relevance.

Two presentations on:

  • Microalgae for food and feed.
  • Microalgae and waste- water and effluent treatment.

16:00- 16:30
Brief presentations by the participants of their national (or regional) microalgal- biotechnolgy programmes/projects.

Second day

Technical discussions among the participants and with local experts (including some keynote speakers) on:

  • Microalgology: taxonomy, selection of strains , mutations, GM strains, contamination of cultures.
  • Cultures of microalgae: from the laboratory to the pilot plant and to commercial scale; technical, physiological constraints, recipes for successful bioengeneering.
  • Photobioreactors (closed systems) versus open systems.
  • Visit to the University of Almería pilot-plant, and technical discussions.

Third day

  • Follow-up to the technical discussions of the second day.
  • Metabolic pathways. Conversion of molecules by microalgae.
  • Harvesting of microalgae, separation, purification of biochemicals (pigments, cosmeceutics or nutraceutics).
  • Effluent treatment.
  • Biofuel production: technology, any foreseeable economic breakthrough?

Fourth day

Field visits (to be detailed by M. García Guerrero, E. Molina Grima and others).
Fifth day (morning)

  • Economic assessment and competitivity of microalgal biotechnologies (and their products) in the areas already discussed: food and feed, biochemicals and pharmaceuticals, biofuels, effluent treatment.

National viewpoints.
Which impact on the economy? In the Euromediterranean region. Which challenges for the future? Investments: between pragmatism and some kind of euphoria?

  • Evaluation of the seminar/workshop.


Departure of participants from Almería (and via Madrid).

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