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Qponics Limited: Sustainable microalgae production facility - Seeking AU$1m investment to scale sustainable oil and protein production

Opportunity for

  • Impact investors (venture capital, family office, angels) interested in taking equity in a sustainable microalgae facility and impact investors with networks in food, beverage, pharmaceutical, or nutraceutical manufacturing and distribution in Australia, Asia, USA or Europe.

Opportunity description

Industry challenge:

Widespread famine will be inevitable by 2050 unless sustainable drought-resistant farming processes are developed to significantly increase protein yields, at a time when global urbanisation is predicted to rise to 70% by 2050, further reducing the rural labour force.

The challenge is to develop an economically sustainable drought-proof farming process to produce alternative food protein; to enable the creation of permanent non-seasonal full-time jobs in near-urban regional communities expected to be affected by climate change; & provide educational facilities for students & the community.

Current opportunity:

Qponics is seeking engagement from impact investors (venture capital, family offices and angels) or global investors with connections in food, beverage, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies in the USA, Europe or Asia, to commence production of marine bioproducts from microalgae.

The production model has been developed on a pilot farm built in Brisbane co-funded with a CRC-Project grant, to demonstrate the modular and scalable nature of the process. The plan is to build a complex of 5 farms, each >100ha in size at South Ballina in NSW, a region within the “Goldilocks zone”, for marine microalgae farming in Australia.

Qponics funding from equity capital, R&D rebates and a $1m CRC-Project grant totalling $2.5m was applied to optimise the cultivation of a species of marine microalgae to yield the highest known concentration of EPA omega-3 and palmitoleic omega-7 fatty acids in oil.

Over the course of the last 10 year Qponics have:

  • Examined 65 different cultivation systems from multiple countries before proving that outdoor raceway ponds were ideal for microalgae cultivation in Australia

  • Pioneered the use of ultrafiltration for purifying tidal river water prior to use and for harvesting microalgae from ponds

  • Developed an efficient means to extract oil from dried biomass

  • Integrated these operations into a modular and scalable process, and

  • Identified the ideal region to build Qponics’ large-scale commercial production facility.

In February 2022 Qponics was invited to submit a formal application for >US$100 (>AU$133) million 5-year funding to a Global Impact Investment Fund (GIIF) to accelerate this development and realise the vision of creating a marine microalgae bioproducts industry first in Australia then in developing countries. While there can be no guarantee of success in this application, Qponics has been informed that its application meets the investment criteria of the Global Impact Investment Fund.

Prior to confirmation of GIIF funding, Qponics is raising $1m to fund corporate operations and continue R&D projects to leverage matched cash funding from the Marine Bioproducts CRC and research contributions from its Research Partners.

Potential other applications

The farming model has been developed with a pilot farm built in Brisbane co-funded with a CRC-Project grant, to demonstrate the scalable nature of the process. The plan is to build a Qponics complex of farms firstly at South Ballina in NSW. Opportunities are emerging to allow the construction of the Qponics marine microalgae farming process in other regions of Australia and in developing countries

Key partners: Marine Bioproducts CRC (MB-CRC)

Qponics transformative drought-proof microalgae farm:

Opportunity type

Seeking investment, Seeking solutions

Express interest by

31 October 2022

Readiness

Mid (TRL 5)
Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Opportunity led by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Essential oils Other rural industries

Qponics Limited

Qponics is addressing the looming global protein deficit by building a droughtproof marine bioproducts industry in Australia to produce protein at unprecedented yields and economically sustained through the co-production of high-value oils.

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Essential oils Other rural industries
  • Location

    Queensland, Australia

  • Organisation type

    Startup or Scaleup or SME

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