ASU to lead first-ever national algae testbed, awarded $15M grant from Department of Energy

September 12, 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the Arizona State University led Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) for a $15M award for its Advancements in Sustainable Algal Production opportunity.

“This algae national testbed will provide high quality data and a network of sites that will speed the pace of innovation,” said Gary Dirks, director of ATP3 and ASU LightWorks, the university initiative that pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework. “The network will support companies and research institutions as they work to meet the nation’s energy challenges.” Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) Download Full Image

"ASU is committed to advancing research and economic development," said Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president with ASU's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. "We are proud of the work being done at the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation on our Polytechnic campus and are looking forward to increasing our impact on the advancement of the algae-industry in collaboration with the newly established ATP3 partnership."

The ATP3 partnership is led by the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) housed at ASU’s Polytechnic campus with support from national labs and academic and industrial partners, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, Cellana LLC, Touchstone Research Laboratory, SRS Energy, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, and Commercial Algae Management.

“This is a critical step for DOE’s support of the growing algal biofuel industry,” said Philip Pienkos, principal manager of the applied biology group at NREL and director of integration for ATP3. “The productivity data generated by the ATP3 testbeds will flow into techno-economic and lifecycle assessment models and provide a basis for tracking progress toward goals in production economics and sustainability. By making high quality testbed capabilities available to researchers and technology developers, they will allow rapid testing of novel concepts at scale and greatly accelerate commercialization. 

"NREL is proud to play a key role in the establishment and operation of the ATP3 testbed in a manner that will allow DOE to achieve its long term goals towards production of advanced biofuels.”

ATP3 will function as a testing facility for the algal research community supporting the operation of existing outdoor algae cultivation systems and allowing researchers access to real-world conditions for algal biomass production for biofuel. Testbed facilities for the partnership are physically located in Arizona, Hawaii, California, Ohio and Georgia.

DOE’s investment from its Biomass Program in ATP3 means companies and research institutes will now have access to facilities and data from long-term algal cultivation trials for use in establishing a realistic and coherent state of technology for algal biofuels.

“This multi-regional testbed will address a major gap currently hindering the scale-up of algal biofuels,” said Blake Simmons, the biomass program manager for Sandia. “This partnership will provide validated data on algal growth and biofuel production across multiple sites in the USA, and will provide essential data related to the scale-up and commercialization of algal biofuels.”

AzCATI was created by grants from Science Foundation Arizona and its president and CEO William Harris. AzCATI and algae research and development also benefitted from the strong support of Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer.

Two new algae-related bills passed in Arizona classify algae as agriculture and allow for growth and harvest of algae on state trust lands. These advancements in the state create a more attractive environment for industry. Arizona is poised to be a preferred destination for new algae-based companies to form and flourish.

For more information about AzCATI visit

U.S. News & World Report: W. P. Carey School ranks in top 25

September 12, 2012

This week, U.S. News & World Report revealed its highly regarded annual rankings for the best undergraduate business schools in the nation. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University comes in an impressive No. 24. It’s the ninth time in 10 years the W. P. Carey School ranks in the top 30 on this prestigious list.

“We want to thank our stellar faculty and students for helping us to achieve consistent excellence,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, W. P. Carey School of Business dean. “These particular rankings are determined by deans and senior faculty members at our peer schools across the nation, who really understand the criteria for a top business school. The new rankings are a testament to the hard work, world-class research and achievements of our faculty, students and graduates.” Robert Mittelstaedt Download Full Image

In addition to the No. 24 ranking overall for undergraduate business programs – up four places from last year -- the school also ranks among the top five in the West. The school’s renowned supply chain management program ranks No. 3 in the nation on the specialty list for its field.

Other recent Top 30 rankings for the W. P. Carey School and its programs include:

• The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the school No. 18 in the world for “economics/business.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks the full-time MBA program Top 30 in the nation for the fifth year in a row.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the part-time (evening) MBA program No. 21 in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the school’s online MBA program among just 14 on its first-ever “Honor Roll” for online graduate business programs.

The Wall Street Journal ranks the school’s Arizona-based executive MBA program No. 13 in the world.

• Britain’s Financial Times ranks the school’s China-based executive MBA program No. 20 in the world.

For more information about the W. P. Carey School of Business, visit