Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

FuTuReS – Fucoxanthin production from microalgae: transdisciplinary and regional scenarios

Project description

Logo FuTuReS

FuTuReS aims to develop transdisciplinary regional scenarios for the production of high-quality biogenic products such as Fucoxanthin, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and proteins from microalgae and to conduct an economic and ecological assessment of the process. Together with stakeholders from agriculture, the project will identify and analyze the opportunities and challenges of integrating phototrophic cultivation of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum with Flat Panel Airlift (FPA) photobioreactors into agricultural production systems. The scenarios examine the potential of microalgae to close energy and material cycles and to increase added value in agriculture. The focus is on using biogenic carbon dioxide and nutrient-rich waste streams (nitrogen, phosphate), e.g. from biogas plants, as well as (surplus) electricity and heat from biogas, photovoltaic, and wind power plants.

The specific research task of ITAS is the development and implementation of a transdisciplinary concept that aims to prepare criteria and scenarios, not only based on the knowledge and visions of scientists, but also on their practical relevance and are closer to the ideas of those affected. The second goal is to involve stakeholders in the development of scenarios for the future use of algae in German agriculture. Both objectives contribute to capture the experience, expectations, and fears of the stakeholders involved in subsequent added-value steps and to integrate them with the academically developed assessment knowledge. The aim of ITAS is to provide practical orientation and action knowledge for interested farmers and potential consumers of algae products and to develop strategies for successfully embedding microalgae technology in agricultural production structures. With this exploratory approach, the research project can help to integrate local knowledge and values into development and application concepts even before the technology is developed and launched onto the market. In addition, potential technical and non-technical challenges and obstacles to implementation can be identified at an early stage and eliminated if necessary.


Dr. Christine Rösch
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-22704