Updated May 24, 2019

EnerGaia: Low cost spirulina closed-tank production system.

Eat well. Live better. Grow spirulina.


Saumil Shah

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Stage 5: Scaling

We are beginning to ship our system to other countries, starting with France, India and Bangladesh.
Yes. In France and India with a Swiss NGO
  • 5 years commercial track record in Thailand
  • Several news stories showing our production sites with our technology (some videos have been uploaded here, others can be found online)
  • Reference available from the Novotel Siam Square in downtown Bangkok and from Antenna Foundation (Swiss NGO working in India and Africa)
Registered in Thailandin Thailand

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Economic Growth and Trade, Environment and 22 MoreSEE ALL

Agriculture, Economic Growth and Trade, Environment, Gender, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Aquaculture, Cultivation & Tools, Processing & Production, Entrepreneurship, Financial Sector & Investment, Private Sector Competitiveness, Social & Micro Finance, Fisheries, Natural Resources, Economic Empowerment, Gender Equity, Refugees, Conflict Response, Response Technologies, Human Centered Design, Social and Behavior Change, Monitoring & Evaluation, Technology and InclusionSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Thailand, France, India and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Thailand, France, India, Singapore and BangladeshSEE LESS

Key Partner
Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding


Traditional food production sectors will not be able to sustainably meet the food consumption needs of our multiplying global population without innovation. The population at the base of the pyramid will be the first to lose access to critical food resources. Developing alternative food sources as well as new approaches for sustainable production are critical to meeting these growing demands.



EnerGaia has developed a proprietary algae production system that balances the costs of system installation, maintenance, and operation with algal growth rate making us one of the most efficient producers of Spirulina on the planet.

Target Beneficiaries

By partnering with NGOs, donor groups and aid agencies, EnerGaia is introducing a new contract farming model tailored particularly for women entrepreneurs in rural areas of developing countries. EnerGaia has the potential to work with both farmers in Bangladesh and store owners in Madagascar to dramatically improve diets to combat micronutrient malnutrition.

Mission and Vision

- Increase rural smallholder income levels
- Improve food security in the developing world and urban cities
- Increase overall nutritional health through the use of spirulina in mainstream and local foods. Spirulina is high in protein, vitamins and minerals.
- Based on this, our innovation touches on SDG's 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

Innovation Description

Traditionally, production ofSpirulinaon a commercial scale has occurred in large, shallow, open-air ponds. This method of production has advanced little from historical methods of cultivation used on the shore of Lake Chad. There, the Kanembu population harvest naturally growingSpirulinafrom the lake and dry it for later consumption. While this method does have its benefits EnerGaia has redesigned howSpirulinais produced. By developing a proprietary algae production bioreactor design, we have created a system that maximizes production with minimal resources, reduces potential for contamination, and allows us to produceSpirulinavirtually anywhere. Unlike other commercialSpirulinaproducers who cultivate algae in open ponds, EnerGaia utilizes a closed system which presents numerous advantages including:
- limited contamination risk
- better quality control
- limited evaporation loss and substantially less water usage
- precise monitoring
- significant increase in production per unit of land area
- can be installed on rooftops
- air-filtration that removes airborne contaminants
Additionally, because our design relies on the injection of forced air for aeration and mixing, we are able to utilize CO2 emissions from industrial sites reducing the carbon footprint of our partners.

Competitive Advantage

The value propositions for our innovation include:
  1. Our technology allows users of our system to begin producing revenues within the first month of operation
  2. We open an office in the local community with a starter system to inoculate other users systems and to provide technical support, we can restart problematic systems very quickly (recovery time of only 2 weeks).
  3. We agree to purchase any spirulina that the rural farmers produce using our system and wish to sell to us (less their household consumption needs and/or sales they can make to others), and because the system is easy to use with non-strenuous effort levels, we enable an additional high-value revenue stream for the rural household, allow for the women of the households to provide this income stream without deteriorating the other income streams generated by the men of the households, and also provide a less than 1 year payback period for the system.

Planned Goals and Milestones

- Deployment in additional countries and wide-spread scale-up to meet our growing spirulina market demand
- Field testing in rural environments with target users (rural women) in multiple interventions throughout the Indian Ocean Region
Funding Goal2,000,000
New Implemented CountriesSolomon Islands, Indonesia, Madagascar
Recruit1-2 board, 1-2 advisors, 3-5 interns


Nov 2018
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
TITLECreating Spirulina Microentrepreneurs to Solve Malnutrition
Implemented InBangladesh
Nov 2017
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Won Southeast Asia track at Fish 2.0 2017
TITLEWon Southeast Asia track at Fish 2.0 2017
Oct 2017
New Country Implemented In
Dec 2014
In The News
TITLEAl Jazeera Earthrise TV story about EnerGaia
Jul 2012
New Country Implemented In
May 2011