Bridging Lab to Market

At Heliae we focus on building bridges between the laboratory and the marketplace. To build these bridges, Heliae concurrently develops both the biological and technological platforms necessary to make useful products.

To learn more about this process, please watch our brief technology video or see the description of these platforms below.


Biological and Technological Platforms

Heliae produces useful products through concurrently identifying, refining and employing biological and technological platforms. A biological platform is any organism or set of organisms that produces a useful product or is used as a component of a process such as an environmental remediation solution. Once the biological platform has been selected, Heliae moves on to the technology platform, composed of two major components: the growth system and downstream processing.

Selecting + Refining the Biological Platform

At Heliae, new projects typically begin with the selection of the optimal biological platform. What sets Heliae apart is its focus on unlocking the opportunities offered by underdeveloped biological platforms. Microalgae is one such platform and is the primary focus of our work. Heliae sources algae strains and other biological organisms from around the world to generate a diverse range of products for its customers and partners. Our research laboratory and small-scale pilot facilities allow for comprehensive strain screening and development.

Once a biological platform has been selected, Heliae works to select or generate a strain of the organism with ideal characteristics for the end product in mind. Because specific strains can provide markedly different results, Heliae uses a variety of tools and methods to select then impart advantageous properties to such strains and organisms. While Heliae prefers the use of conventional strain development techniques whenever feasible, we also support the responsible use of recombinant technology when there are clear and significant benefits of doing so.

Growth Systems

Heliae has experience in commercial scale production of products from a variety of biological platforms using novel and conventional phototrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic growth systems. Heliae currently employs all three at its research and demonstration production facilities located near Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Heliae’s ability to integrate multiple systems, our team’s experience at modulating growth system parameters, and our state of the art facilities which allow for the controlled research, testing, and production of both natural and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) allow Heliae to produce a wide range of useful products.

Downstream Processing

Heliae uses cutting edge extraction and biomass processing technologies to obtain target products from microalgae cultures and other biological platforms. Heliae also employs and is experienced in using product stabilization and formulation technologies to produce high quality end products for its customers and commercial partners. Because Heliae is an integrated company, our work does not stop there. Our in-house laboratory performs a rigorous analysis of all processed materials and our quality assurance team ensure that all products comply with established specifications and acceptance criteria.

Unlocking the Potential of Algae

Heliae is constantly developing, employing, and refining technologies that make obtaining useful products from microalgae and similar biological platforms a reality. Producing such useful products affordably, particularly at commercial scale, can be remarkably challenging. Often there still is no “one size fits all” solution to these challenges. Rather, each situation calls for a unique set of biological, chemical, and engineering approaches. To meet these challenges, Heliae employs a cross-functional approach, bringing together talented professionals that employ the combination of all of these skills. Heliae draws upon this cross-functional approach in developing optimal strains; designing unique, high-capacity growth systems; and delivering high quality end products. Our approach sets us apart.

Every day, Heliae faces and overcomes significant challenges. The technology required to understand underdeveloped biological platforms and produce useful products from them is still emerging or yet to be developed. Heliae is on the forefront of developing that technology.

Our primary focus has been and remains unlocking the potential of algae, especially microalgae. Algae are an incredibly diverse and complex set of organisms that have evolved over millions of years to thrive in incredibly variable ecosystems. Microalgae offer the promise of an alternative source of thousands of compounds useful in a wide variety of fields, from nutrition to fuel and from environmental clean up to providing new sources of industrial materials. A critical component of Heliae’s core mission is to develop and employ technologies to unlock all of the potential that algae holds.