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Department of Plant Sciences

The Algal Innovation Centre (AIC) is a Centre for Excellence with test and scale-up facilities, connecting the entire pipeline of algal research from strain selection and improvement, through harvesting and processing, to development of underpinning technology and engineering solutions. The AIC's laboratory is a secure, research grade glasshouse on a sealed foundation with gross floor area of 164 square meters. It has laboratory grade benching, RO water supply environmental data collection, access to autoclaving, centrifugation and a wide range of algae reactors. The AIC also provides training courses for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.


The AIC houses a wide range of algal growth and harvesting equipment, including two Varicon Aqua 65L PhycoLift vertical glass bioreactors, 10L vertical polycarbonate airlift bioreactors and two 150L horizontal rotary bioreactors. The AIC can support projects with additional facilities, including but not limited to:
  • Cell harvesting (membrane harvest, centrifugation)
  • Lipid profiling (using GC-MS)
  • Coulter cell counter
  • Flow cytometry
  • Pigment profiling (HPLC-PDA)
  • High throughput Metabolomics
  • FT-IR fingerprinting
  • Cell culture collection (temperate and polar species)

Research collaborations

The AIC is now open for academic and industrial research collaborations. To enquire about possible collaboration please email AIC manager Dr Payam Mehrshahi with a brief description of the proposed project. 

Visiting the Centre

To arrange a visit to the AIC contact the Centre's Manager Dr Payam Mehrshahi. The Centre entrance is via the Sainsbury Laboratory located on Bateman Street, which is one-way. The turning to the Centre is just before the streets fifth bollard at number 47. Turn into this short track and up to the black entrance gate where you may use the intercom to speak to reception or security.


For enquiries or queries about the Algal Innovation Centre contact the Centre's Manager Dr Payam Mehrshahi.