about us

Who are we

Necton is specialised in the cultivation and commercialisation of microalgae. Our scientific, technological and market knowledge is focused in several applications: specialty feeds for Aquaculture and Aquarium, Cosmetics, Food, and more recently in Bioenergy and Engineering.

Our natural attitude towards Partners, Customers, and Suppliers is to continuously excel ourselves through our quality standards and innovative practices.

Our company has a unique and distinctive experience in designing and operating different microalgae cultivation technologies, both for freshwater and marine microalgae, ranging from open to closed systems. The research and development team has developed an extensive industrial knowledge which allows us to produce more than 10 different types of microalgae genera.

After several years of research and development in the Portuguese Catholic University, Necton was established in 1997. As microalgae need sunlight, the company was set on an ideal location to grow those organisms - the South of Portugal (Europe).

Since its establishment, Necton has been located in a 23 ha salt marsh in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Apart from the microalgae production facility, this fortunate location impelled the start-up of another business in the year 2000. The company begun to exploit the salt marshes to obtain sea salt and “flor de sal” just like the Romans did. At this moment, Necton operates two different business units: Microalgae Business Unit and Salt Business Unit.

The history of Necton is above all based on a creative endeavour that has resulted in several new businesses. Some more successful than the others! The company Alnatural was created in 1996 with the primal purpose of using a microalgae extract in the formulation of a sun protection cream. Even though creams were excellent, as they only used natural ingredients in their formulation, the business was soon wiped out from the market by pharmaceuticals products. Another spin-out of Necton, Alangulata, dedicated to cultivation of Portuguese oyster was established in 2005 and is still in operation. More recently, in the year 2007, another spin-out A4F was created to develop and deliver bioengineering projects for the industrial production of microalgae.

Necton has been honored with Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biotecnhology (2001), Best Company Prize in Agriculture and Fisheries (2003), Innovation Prize “BES Inovação – Renewal Energy Category” (2006), and SME Leader “PME Líder” (2011).

Necton is member of COTEC Innovative Companies Network and European Aquaculture Society.

Algae Team

With a total staff of 30 collaborators, 9 of us work in the Microalgae Business Unit, including 3 MSc’s and a PhD. Visiting researchers from several Universities also contribute to the research and development activities.

Helia Carvalho. Marine Biologist and Biotechnologist. Large experience in aquaculture, sea bream and sea bass.
Laboratory Technitian.
Enjoys spending time tracking with friends and loves needlework. 

Inês Povoa. Biologist, MSc. in Sustainable Aquaculture. Large experience in aquaculture, sea bream and sea bass. 
Production Manager.
Lover of new experiences including travel and food.

João Navalho. Marine Biologist. MSc. in Aquaculture. Expert in Microalgae Biotechnology.
Member of the Board.
Music and Cinema, and family, family, family! 

Oleh Koltun. Experienced in operation and maintenance. 
Production Technician. 
Fan of cars.

Sara Leigo. Marine Biologist and Biotechnologist. MSc. in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Large experience in barramundi, Dover sole and turbot production. 
Production Technician and Customer Service Support. 
Loves to travel and get to know different cultures. Lover of several kind of music and dances.

Teresa Lamela. Biologist. PhD in Microbiology. Expert in microalgae industrial production. 
Quality Manager. 
Shellfish gathering and reading are relaxing activities for Teresa!

Victória del Pino. Chemical Engineer. MSc. in Inovation Economy. Large experience in R&D Project Management and Bioteh Business Management.
Microalgae Business Unit Manager.
Crazy about biotech since she was a youngster! Dance is also a passion.

Vítor Verdelho. Physic. MBA. Expert in Biotech Project Management.
Member of the Board.
Walking on the beach during weekends is a must-do! 

Yago del Valle Inclán. Chemical Engineer. More than 15 years of experience in Microalgae Photobioreactors Design. 
Infrastructure Manager. 
Fishing and sailing.