AIB is a Malaysian-based company engaged in microalgae production and process innovation, headed up by Jag Kaurah with a board of senior executives with engineering, commercialisation and large company management experience including Felda Palm (Palm Oil Mills), Visa and Bank of America.
AIB has developed economically attractive closed systems for microalgae production as opposed to the open raceway ponds used worldwide. This major breakthrough will accelerate opportunities within the industry by lowering production costs, vastly increasing the number of species that can be grown, improving yield quality and introducing more flexibility of inputs. NASA has trialled one of AIB’s earlier patented breakthrough systems (see illustration below, from Nasa website) and that system has now been superseded to be even more flexible and efficient.
Jag’s expertise in growing microalgae is recognised including by an invitation to write the chapter on microalgae growing systems in a book to be published in 2019 where the World’s leading microalgae experts will contribute chapters in their own field of expertise.
AIB has also gone further and developed a concept and knowledge of how microalgae, vertical farming, clean balanced food, balanced renewable energy with solar and bio-gas and recycling most items can help our planet, humanity and other life. Some innovative and healthy products have been developed with microalgae as the base to showcase potential. Now AIB would like to spread the word through highly visible business ventures.
To reduce human footprint on Earth, help humanity, climate change and other life while making a reasonable return on capital.
AIB is now seeking business opportunities for the system in Malaysia and overseas
These currently include:
Standalone microalgae farms;
Apply the technology to compatible ventures that can add an additional income string to their operations and become more stable, profitable and environmentally friendly. One example, among many, is prawn farmers. Prawn farming is seasonal and subject to dangers like disease. Microalgae require similar infrastructure and land. The two co-exist very well, are synergistic and microalgae are a more stable income source
A chain of state-of-the-art eco-resorts that will showcase, low carbon living, very productive agriculture that reduces the land area required to provide for humanity, extra healthy food, food production without pesticides, herbicides, tilling and with low water usage and with a high degree of recycling.
Microalgae are a highly diverse range of microscopic organisms capable of converting solar energy to chemical energy via photosynthesis. They contain numerous bioactive compounds that can be harnessed for commercial use with a significantly lower environmental footprint. They are vastly faster growing than plants, hence they are much more productive. They comprise a large, unexplored group of organisms, and providing a virtually untapped and unlimited source of products, including:
COSMETICS, PLASTICS, FUEL, FOOD, FEED FOR ANIMALS AND SEAFOOD, FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. Microalgae can also be used in the treatment of industrial effluent.
The main problems with microalgae production have been:
Contamination of product in open ponds (final products are impure)
Cost of infrastructure and land footprint required for open pond operation
Prohibitive manufacturing cost of closed systems
Limited pool of microalgae species that can be grown in existing systems, which diminishes substantial potential product development.
Low productivity of open ponds
The AIB system solves these problems.
Many daily eaten food items can be grown using vertical farming. Vertical Farming has many advantages including less usage of water, fertilizers and land, healthier and fresher food, less mileage travelled, no use of pesticides and herbicides and no land tillage.
Why does the world need microalgae and vertical farming?
The major drivers behind climate change are 1) Increased CO2 emissions and 2) The clearing of trees and foliage which consume CO2. The burning of fossil fuels for power and transport, the clearing of forests for agriculture, growing feed for livestock and land fill are working together to cause this. Current forms of agriculture have an extremely low aggregate efficiency in production, for example:
1.3 billion head of beef cattle and milk producing cows take up about 23% landmass. They emit methane which is between 21 to 23 times more damaging to the climate than CO2
40% of the land used for agriculture is to grow feed for beef cattle. It takes 8 pounds of feed to create 1 pound of beef.
70% of the world’s water is consumed in agriculture, and 22% for industry, mainly the power industry.
As the global population grows and our food and resource requirements increase exponentially, great pressure is being put on the finite resources of the earth and its capacity to cope with the by-products of the current system of agriculture. These effects are exacerbated by the fact that more and more carbon-sequestering trees need to be cleared.
How microalgae and vertical farming can mitigate climate risks:
Traditional forms of farming are weather-dependent and require vast tracts of land. Microalgae are much more productive than traditional agriculture and enable production of carbohydrates, proteins and edible oil and other food ingredients in a diversity of geographies and seasons, tremendously improving supply chain integrity and resilience in the face of unstable climate conditions.
The cultivation of microalgae is known to be the most profitable business in the biotechnological industry. It is a waste less, ecologically pure, energy and resource-saving process with a very high aggregate efficiency.
The AIB system could also be used to remediate unusable land and deserts, as microalgae can be grown using seawater.
Vertical farming provides all the greens we need from a smaller footprint than traditional agriculture. More land can be left to nature mitigating climate change.
Together, microalgae and vertical farming can provide most of our vegetarian based food.
Known consumer trends driving commercial demand for microalgae
The growth of health awareness, and the demand for low-fat, higher-nutrient foods.
The growth of veganism, vegetarianism and reduction of meat consumption.
Consumer concern for “clean” ingredients with low environmental impact.
Growing population and unstable weather conditions in the developing world.
Demand for new, environmentally friendly products. (With the additional species that will now be able to be farmed with the AIB system, innovation possibilities are endless).
The environmental need exists
Consumer demand is proven
The need for product innovation is known
Government need to meet agreed carbon reduction targets is there
Increased awareness of the product’s potential will increase demand
AIB considers itself a “for purpose” venture with a goal to improve health, solve food security problems and lower our carbon footprint by creating a movement to understand the benefits of microalgae and vertical farming. To this end, AIB has developed a number of concepts for commercialisation.
Potential licencing of the production technology to other ventures seeking to lower production costs and improve quality of output or add another string to their income stream, for example - aquatic farms.
Eco-resort chain. Expansion of this concept is provided in the rest of this document.
AIB has a number of concepts for commercialisation of a range of products to raise awareness of the potential of microalgae. However, those are outlined in separate documentation. The focus for this document is an eco-resort concept for which AIB wishes to gather partners to develop a chain of state-of-the art eco-resorts that will:
Showcase low-carbon living, featuring renewable energy technologies and recycling built in to every aspect of its design
Showcase paddock-to-plate 1advanced organic, mainly vertical, farming without pesticides
Showcase the potential of microalgae as a source of food and products in the resort
Showcase the potential of the cleanest organic farming including plants, aquaculture. (AIB Microalgae will establish itself as being capable of producing the cleanest, purest products on the planet)
Clear descriptive boards next to each activity will teach how and why that activity is being carried out.
Become an award-winning tourist destination in each location it is established
Every guest will leave the resort with a complete understanding of the potential of low-footprint, low-carbon living as all resort attractions will be beautifully signed and explained. The resort will be an experiential learning opportunity.
Schools and unis will be invited to come study.
The project. The project will seek Government help. The local area and country would benefit with this type of unique tourist attraction. The location has to be selected well and must be near a sizable population centre. This has many benefits like collecting waste food for anaerobic digestion. Collecting food waste for anaerobic digestion helps the state and its people. The best location would be by the sea side.
The AIB proposal can solve problems, for example the AIB project could be the anchor project to attract tourist. The area may have internationally recognised attractions but this would be a very unique attraction. This project adds something unique to do for the tourist.
The AIB team brings the technology and high level hospitality and business advice through its board, but would be delighted to add local partners for its ventures.
Benefits that resorts will bring in each location that they operate will include:
Construction jobs during building phase. (Employment and local business support)
Showcase for award-winning local architecture engaged in the project. (Perhaps run an architecture competition?)
Ongoing employment of a minimum of 90 local FTEs, in addition to contract workers. (Employment)
Ongoing contract for local hotelier operation to run the resort. (Employment and local business support)
Research & Development
Local marketing operation. (Employment and local business support)
Goal is for the project to become its own major tourist attraction for the area in which the resort operates. (Tourism industry support)
Opportunities to showcase advanced technologies and capabilities of local companies such as ecological engineers, renewable energy and organic vertical farming consultants and providers, chefs, architects, hotel operators, etc. (Building the areas reputation for innovation)
Education for local people, school children and businesses interested in the project. (Raising community awareness of environmental issues).
Outline of assistance sought from participants and partners, including State and National Governments:
Site location - the ideal site would have access to the. The best supply of water for most of the interesting microalgae species is sea water. We would get the sea water from a bore hole near or in the sea. There are 2 reasons we would use a bore, we do not want to disturb marine life by directly sucking sea water and bore sea water is filtered
Size - 25 hectares
Elevation and aspect - Rolling or flat land above highest tide level
Transportation/ logistics - Location within a reasonable time distance from a major airport.
Cost of building - if land remediation is part of the land offer, that would fit with our overall environment-positive approach. Advice by builders that construction on certain types of land would affect judgement and cost.
Access - Easy access to a large population base (tourist traffic).
Water - Have not yet fully worked out the water requirement but it would be substantially less than other comparable facilities as recycled sterilized water or sea water would be used for the farming, rain water would be harvested for use in toilets and other washing and water use would be minimized by various methods.
Power - Power would be mostly solar + battery and bio gas from the anaerobic dig-esters. Supply to and from the grid is likely to be net close to zero.
Sewerage - Not exactly sure of the regulations but in theory we would handle as much as possible of the sewerage on site through the anaerobic dig-esters. So minimal outside help needed.
Grants. We are very passionate about doing the right thing for communities and the environment. Advice on the various grants available from Country, State and local Government that have been established to support these goals would be appreciated.
Capital raising. Advice on local sources of investment funding for like projects.
Programs. Advice on local programs that could assist.
Supply chain. Builders and other suppliers from the local area. Our microalgae structures will be manufactured locally and assembled on site.
Contacts. Government departments and bodies with a possible interest in this project include a large number of separate departments and councils with different agendas. Introductions to appropriate people in industry engagement who can help us locate opportunities, advice, grants etc, would be useful. We expect the resort will bring benefits to the local interests of employment, technology innovation, architecture and construction, tourism, land reclamation, environmental impact stakeholders, renewable energy stakeholders. Whilst we are also working concurrently to gather a local commercial team and funding for this project, we believe that those stakeholders will also be encouraged by any/all indications of Government support.
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