New tech transfer projects could lead to smarter fish feed, turn algae to biofuel

April 2, 2015

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program has approved more than a dozen collaborative technology product development projects, teaming Maryland companies with university researchers to foster tech transfer and new technologies. Three of those projects are underway at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science:

Fortified fish food

The first creates a high-value fish feed from Maryland crops. Plant Sensory Systems LLC, based in Baltimore, develops technologies that improve agricultural performance and reduce negative environmental impact. The company works with UMCES professor Allen Place at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology to produce a plant-based aquafeed with low-leaching taurine, a compound required for the development and growth of farmed fish and shellfish.

Algae to Biofuel

The second manufactures renewable, carbon neutral crude oil from algae at a cost that is competitive with fossil crude oil. Manta Biofuel LLC, based in Reisterstown and owned by Ryan Powell, a University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science graduate, is collaborating with Russell Hill, UMCES professor and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, to determine the quality of oil that will be produced from varying types of algae blooms.

Oysters for the Bay

MeTompkin Seafood Inc., based in Crisfield, distributes a variety of seafood products in the Chesapeake Bay region. The company works with Donald Merritt, principal agent of the oyster culture facility at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Scienc's Horn Point Laboratory to develop a high-volume, spat-on-shell oyster production system based on remote setting technology.