AlgEternal Technologies’ CEO, David Ramjohn, Joins University of Houston, Biotechnology Industry Advisory Board
Continuing efforts to positively impact the growth of the US algae industry, Ramjohn welcomes opportunity to provide practical guidance and support to students. —
AlgEternal Technologies, LLC, announced today that their CEO, David Ramjohn, has been appointed to the Industry Advisory Board (IAB)—Biotechnology, in the College of Technology of the University of Houston (UH). According to the UH website, their Boards of Advisors comprise: “Business, community and technical leaders from the Houston area and across the United States…” who “…generously provide free advice and guidance for the various programs within the College of Technology. These allow programs in the College of Technology to stay closely allied with the real needs of the business and technical communities that they serve.” Dean of the UH College of Technology, Dr. Anthony P. “Tony” Ambler, hosted a reception and dinner on April 9, 2019 for Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members, in recognition of the importance he places on the collaboration between the UH and the private sector.
AlgEternal entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the UH in November 2018 and discussions have been ongoing since then between Ramjohn and Dr, Venkatesh Balan, Assistant Professor, Biotechnology, and Dr. Kamran Alba, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology, both of the UH College of Engineering Technology, on collaborative applied research in algae biotechnology. In March 2019, Dr. Balan invited Ramjohn to consider sitting on the Industry Advisory Board—Biotechnology as an expert in the algae industry to assist the UH develop programs that meet the needs of the industry in the future.
“AlgEternal views education as critical to the success of the algae industry,” says Ramjohn; “I am happy to contribute to the development of programs that prepare the next generation of scientists and workers in this emerging industry with enormous potential to impact positively on the U.S. and Global economies.” According to Ramjohn, as a businessperson, he has to consider the future of AlgEternal and the entire industry in terms of sources of trained personnel. AlgEternal intends to expand and scale commercially, which will require additional team members. “Collaborating with the University of Houston and Drs. Balan and Alba means that we remain at the cutting edge of applied research,” says Ramjohn; “microalgae represent a largely unexplored bio-renewable resource with sustainable economic applications in food, feed, agriculture, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, natural skin care, biomaterials, and ecosystem services such as wastewater treatment and carbon capture and use.”
At the UH, Dr. Balan has established the ‘Protein and Carbohydrate Research Laboratory (PCRL)’ that uses multidisciplinary approaches including chemistry, biology and engineering to produce bio-molecules useful for medicinal and industrial applications. His research projects are focused on the following areas: Producing biochemicals using genetic engineering platform; Peptide expression systems to produce bio-molecules useful for biomedical and other biotechnology applications; Use of complex carbohydrates to develop industrial enzymes; and Microbial processing to produce food and nutritional products. “Having visited AlgEternal’s facilities in La Grange, and met with their CEO, I have no doubt that his unique combination of science and business expertise will be a great asset to the IAB and the algae industry as a whole,” said Balan; “David has managed to successfully develop and launch two extremely effective algae-based products and demonstrate a business model for the algae industry that really works.”
Dr. Alba’s research interests include: Experimental, Computational & Analytical Fluid Dynamics; Complex Non-Newtonian Fluid Flows; Suspensions, Multiphase, Displacements & Buoyant Flows; Thin-Film Flow Modelling & Stability Analysis; and Coating & Co-Extrusion Flows. Together with Dr. Balan and one of their students, Nima Mirzaeian, they have developed an Adjustable Particle Separator System (Patent Pending) that has applications in microalgae harvesting. “AlgEternal is the perfect industry partner for us to do field testing at commercial scale of our new technology,” says Dr. Alba; “the scale at which AlgEternal, under their CEO’s leadership, has been able to produce microalgae in vertical photobioreactors, is one that I have not seen in Texas before.” Ramjohn is now working with the UH to develop a program for internships for graduate students with AlgEternal, a move he believes is the natural progression to encourage and support students to enter the algae industry.
AlgEternal’s CEO recognizes the role the company must play in securing the future of the emerging algae industry and remains committed to making useful contributions to facilitating the growth and success of the industry. “The U.S. has spent an enormous amount of public funds supporting decades of algae research and development but is yet to reap any of the significant economic, environmental, or social benefits that this industry can provide,” said Ramjohn; “the algae industry no longer has a science or technology problem; it has a business problem, and through partnerships such as with the UH and participation in Industry Advisory Boards, AlgEternal intends to join the elite few companies operating in the U.S. that demonstrate the algae business solutions that make dollars and sense.”
About AlgEternal Technologies, LLC:
AlgEternal Technologies is an early stage company with patented technology for growing microalgae at scale. Operating as a Conscious Capitalism Company, AlgEternal focuses on demonstrating the application of microalgae to solving significant human challenges such as: sustainable agriculture; water, air and soil pollution; and climate change. AlgEternal believes that the algae industry is critical to sustainable, ecocentric, circular economic activity while keeping planet Earth hospitable to humans. Learn more at www.algeternal.com; www.agtivate.com; or www.algallure.com. Follow AlgEternal on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin
About the University of Houston:
Established in 1927, the University of Houston empowers students in their pursuit of learning, discovery, leadership and engagement. Located in a sprawling metropolis, our premier Tier One campus provides students with cutting edge programs including undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, distance and continuing education. Ranked among the best colleges in America, UH is home to award-winning faculty, innovative research centers, has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation, and alumni who have become international leaders (http://www.uh.edu/about/).
Date: April 19, 2019