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Ask the Expert: adVentures in Innovation

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022
Virtual Webinar presented by CCTSI, Venture Partners at CU Boulder, CSU Ventures and the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) grant at CU Anschutz

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Ask the Expert is a collaboration between the CCTSI, Venture Partners at CU Boulder, CSU Ventures and the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) grant at CU Anschutz.

The new initiative is part of CCTSI’s Innovation Ecosystem program. This lunchtime series is for researchers and academics who are interested in entrepreneurship, device and technology development and innovation. Every month, academics and innovators will engage in a lively and provocative interview with an expert, followed by a Q&A session. Experts are sourced from each campus and nationally, by the Ask the Expert committee.

The series will take place on Zoom – Register HERE.

On November 15, 2022, Stevan Albers, PhD, will discuss The Living Ink Story: from Kickstarter to Nike – how a technology pivot changed the trajectory of sustainable ink.

Living Ink is a biomaterials company on a mission to use sustainable algae technologies to replace petroleum-derived products, such as ink. Currently, the majority of pigments used within industry are derived from petroleum, such as carbon black. Living Ink is changing the way pigments are made by using algae as colorants for eco-friendly Algae Ink™ products. Living ink is currently commercializing a black algae-based pigment that has a negative carbon footprint, is bio-based, resistant to UV-light exposure, and is safe.

The initial idea for Living Ink was the potential application of algae research projects by two doctoral students in the Cell and Molecular Biology program at Colorado State University, Scott Fulbright and Stevan Albers. Scott and Steve initially focused on biofuels and bioproducts when they learned that the majority of printing ink used worldwide is produced from toxic petroleum products. The lightbulb moment resulted in countless hours of research into developing and evaluating algae as biopigments, and the founding of Living Ink, with the goal of creating the world’s most sustainable ink. The company has raised $3M, including $1.5M from the National Science Foundation and $1.5M of private investment. The company was awarded numerous honors from the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University.

Living Ink’s carbon black algae ink has been used by several eco-conscious brands, including Nike, Cove, Tarform, Vollebak, Bedrock Sandals, and Patagonia. Join us to learn how Living Ink, an idea that started in academia, became a driving force for change in the ink industry, increasing sustainability across diverse commercial applications.