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Banco Español de Algas

The Spanish Bank of Algae (BEA) is an infrastructure of the Universidad of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria managed by the Canarian Science and Technology Park Foundation (FCPCT). Its basic objectives are the isolation, characterization, conservation, supply and development of cultivation techniques and applications of microalgae and cyanobacteria from a scientific-technological point of view.

The BEA is a member of the European Culture Collections’ Organisation (ECCO), of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) and is included in the World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WFCC-MIRCEN), being accredited before the Government of Spain as the international authority for the deposit of microorganisms, in accordance with the provisions established in the Budapest Treaty.

Strains of microalgae from tropical and subtropical regions are conserved in the BEA, particularly from the Macaronesian region. This collection of strains (> 1700 clonal strains) offers great potential for the development of industrial applications, allowing companies, scientific groups, and institutions around the world access to unique genetic resources, hardly explored, for their application in biotechnological processes, essentially in the areas of:

    • Energy (Biofuels)

    • Health and wellness (Pharmaceutical, Biomedicine, Cosmetics)

    • Nutrition (human and animal) and nutraceutical

    • Industrial processes

    • Environment

It also offers services to companies, research institutions and technological development centres, to facilitate the implementation of initiatives and projects essentially related to industry and research on microalgae and cyanobacteria.

In parallel, the BEA is committed to its own research and technology (development and innovation) program, attending to the following priority strategic lines:
1.- Conservation of Biodiversity of microalgae and cyanobacteria
2.- Polyphasic identification of the isolated strains
3.- Technological development for the production, identification, and characterization of bioactive compounds of microalgae and cyanobacteria
4.- Characterization, biotechnological and biochemical valorisation of biomass, and production of extracts from the strains in the collection aimed at the following thematic lines:

    1. Agricultural biostimulants
    2. Bioremediation, biodiversity, and environment

    3. Bioactive substances (antibiotics, antivirals, antitumor, antifungals)

    4. Industrial applications of algal pigments

    5. Algae and functional metabolites for Food / Nutrition / Health

    6. Metabolites for the cosmetic industry

    7. Algae for animal consumption and aquaculture

As a priority activity it is the dissemination of the scientific-technological activities developed, for what the BEA carries out scientific publications and actions linked to dissemination and transfer of knowledge on an ongoing basis both locally, nationally, and internationally.

In 2018, the BEA has been awarded by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria with the Can de Plata in the field of Sciences and in 2020 it has repeated this award as part of the Institute of Oceanography and Global Change (IOCAG) of the ULPGC.


The BEA has fully-equipped laboratories (microscopes, flow cytometers, centrifuges, flow chambers, fluorimeters, water equipment, etc.) and activation chambers. It also has a culture plant and greenhouse of about 300 square meters fitted with culture systems such as tanks and methacrylate photobioreactors of different volumes (50-400L) for the culture of freshwater microalgae as well as raceways-type culture tanks of fixed structures: three 8-square meter long raceways and two 30-square meter long raceways. It also has movable units of macroalgae culture fiber and polycarbonate tanks (750 - 1500 l).

Direction and Management

Antera Martel Quintana
Scientific director and curator of the BEA collection

Juan Luis Gómez Pinchetti
Scientific director and head of the Biotechnology and Cultivation Unit

Elena López Santana
Management and administration assistant


Carolina Medina Alcaraz

Eduvigis Rodríguez Coello
Technician of the Culture Collection

Virginia Cruz Álamo
Technician of the Culture Collection

Moneiba Suárez Lozano
Technician of the Culture Collection

Biotech and cultivation unit

Carlos Almeida Peña

Agustín Portillo Hahnefeld

Francesco Pisapia

Fernando Guzmán Rodríguez
Algae Biotechnology Technician

Mireia Sánchez Humayor
Algae Biotechnology Technician

Vanessa Caballero Arencibia
Algae Biotechnology Technician

Manuel Serrano Crespo



Unión Europea


Gobierno de Canarias



iconMuelle de Taliarte, s/n 35214 - Telde Gran Canaria - España

icon+34 928 133 290

icon+34 928 132 830

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