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The California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB) is a consortium of academic researchers from around the State of California that collaborate with the private sector to apply lab discoveries to the industrial world through robust research and development in biology, chemistry, and engineering. 

Cal-CAB is a part of Food and Fuel for the 21st Century, A UC San Diego Organized Research Unit that supports the development of innovative, sustainable and commercially viable solutions for the renewable production of food, energy, green chemistry and bio-products using photosynthetic organisms.


The mission of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB) is to support development of innovative, sustainable, and commercially viable algae-based biotechnology solutions for renewable energy, green chemistry, bio-products, water conservation, and CO2 abatement. The Center incorporates international research scientists from the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, economics, and policy. It also trains young scientists, educates the public, collaborates with private sector partners, and facilitates discussion with regional, state, and national policy makers regarding the use of algae for energy independence and conservation of land and water, while encouraging the highest standards of academic excellence and objectivity.


The California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB) was originally established as the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB) in 2008 as a consortium of researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Salk Institute. Working to develop algae as a commercially viable feedstock for biofuels, green chemicals, nutraceuticals, feeds, and other high value bio-products, SD-CAB soon became recognized internationally as a center of excellence in algae biotechnology. From 2008 to 2013, SD-CAB grew to include other San Diego research institutions, including San Diego State University (SDSU), as well as more than 10 industrial partners and sponsors.

As algae biotechnology has grown and matured, we have recognized that California is an ideal location to build both the research as well as the production aspects of algae biotechnology. Because of this unique opportunity, we expanded our center in July 2013 to incorporate research collaborations and commercial partnerships across the state of California and we are now the California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB). The range and diversity of algae biotechnology research and industry throughout California provides an opportunity to make considerable advances in the field, and with Cal-CAB, we will create and maintain connections between members and facilitate joint research efforts, as well as commercial partnerships.