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Olmix, INRAE sign global partnership for algae development

New collaboration provides opportunity to diversify interactions around interest of algae extract use in animal and plant health sectors.

Philippe Mauguin, president and chief executive officer of France's National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food & Environment (INRAE), and Hervé Balusson, CEO of Olmix Group, recently signed a first framework agreement that strengthens their collaboration in marine algae research and development.

According to the Olmix announcement, the value chain for marine algae is expanding. The growing interest it triggers comes from the nutritional quality of algae and their richness in bioactive molecules that make them potentially usable both in the field of human and animal food as well as in the field of plant nutrition and health.

Olmix and INRAE have had an "ongoing and fruitful" research partnership since 2012 that evaluated the effect of different compounds rich in marine sulfated polysaccharides on a wide range of biological activities able to improve production performance and the resistance of animals to infections, the announcement said.

According to Olmix, the research performed in vitro and in vivo highlighted that some of the tested extracts could be efficiently used in feeds as natural products to stimulate the immune response of livestock animals, protect the mucous membranes from pathogens and reduce the use of medical products on farms.

Olmix and INRAE said the new contract allows them to align the priorities as far as research, innovation and economic benefits are concerned. It also provides an opportunity to diversify interactions around the interest of algae extract use in both animal and plant health sectors, including:

* The impact of algae extracts on the nutrition and health of farm animals, the aquaculture sector and food product quality in an antibiotic-free approach (identification of biological markers and mechanisms of action);

* Research on algae extract composition, structure and link with biological activities;

* Identification of active ingredients and their mode of action on plant nutrition and health, and

* Sustainable plant production routes, incorporating innovative, algae-based crop protection strategies linked to soil health.

“This framework agreement allows us to strengthen our already solid collaboration in the sector of nutrition and health of farm animals and to diversify our collaboration in the plant nutrition and health sector. This is a great example of partnership with the industry that our research institute is keen to develop to accelerate the development of innovative products that respect the soil and the environment," Mauguin said.

Balusson added, “This framework contract is both a recognition of our work with INRAE and an incentive to strengthen it. For 20 years, Olmix has been developing alga-based solutions with one objective: to provide economically viable solutions to farmers for them to produce healthy and sustainable food.”

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