Talk of the Trade: Algae Expands in Gilbert
“To grow algae you need really three things. You need sun, you need water and you need CO2. Arizona is pretty ideal and Gilbert happened to be the perfect place for us,” said Craig Johnson, the Chief Financial Officer of Heliae Tech. Holdings Inc. Heliae is an innovator of algae production technology, and is based in Gilbert, Arizona.
“We thought there was an algae production process that was accepted, was utilized around the world and all we were going to do was improve on it and that was back in 2008 and what we really learned since then, is that there really was no modernized method of growing algae,” said President and CEO Dan Simon. Their goal is to create and advance the future of algae in Gilbert, Arizona.
“What we’ve done basically in the last five years is built a platform around growing economically viable algae. Now we’re actually applying that science, that platform into four basic areas: therapeutic drugs, cosmetics, nutraceuticals and agroscience products, so high-end fertilizers. So those four areas is where we’ll be applying the science, but the real effort the last five years has been building an algae production platform,” said Simon. Heliae has done this with the collaboration of Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Science Foundation of Arizona.
Heliae is currently under construction, extending their commercial algae production plant on their 22-acre campus. The first phase of this new extension will be operational in September and will focus on nutraceutical products.