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Biotechnology, R+D+i

R+D+i

The technology, research and innovation are not only in our name but also in our Vision and Mission as a company.

We invest and participate in numerous research projects which are the motor of new products and solutions.

The development and research in the area of microalgae has not only allowed for the creation of great products but also the advance in new methods of water purification, organic residue valorization, production of new microalgae varieties, and development of pro soil fertility bacteria in agriculture, and even new processes for the production of clean and sustainable energies.

R+D+i Projects

 BACAGRO PROJECT

Foto BACAGROThe research Project BACAGRO (Bacteria production for agricultural use as soil fertility improver and protective agents agaist phytopathogens), has as an objective the development of new biostimulating products for agricultural use to immprove the efficiency and sustainability of under plastic agriculture. Framed inside the global objective, BACAGRO contemplates 4 differentiated technological objectives: (i) Selection and identification of beneficial bacteria for soil and plants, (ii) Development of scalable processes for microbe production having to be competitive with its agricultural application, (iii) Developmento of preservation methods applying said bacteria guaranteeing its safety and effectiveness and, (iv) Evaluation of the effect in soils and plants after the application of the final product. Therefore, the execution of BACAGRO will allow to increase the productivity of crops under plastic minimizing afflictions caused by fungi and other pathogens, at the same time is will diminish the use of chemical agents used to control those pathogens, as well as diminishing the need for nutrients thanks to a better usage of those already present in the soil, meaning a a parallel increment of sustainability in this sort of crops.

BACAGRO will mean an intense public-private cooperation of multidisciplinary nature during a period of 3 years from October 2015 and will be driven by a tech-based company as is Biorizon Biotech, S.L. (engaged on development, production and commercialization of biofertilizers); the Cajamar Foundation, which will participate as a model research centre in the field of intensive agriculture and, as a third associate, the University of Almería through the Centro de Investigación en Biotecnología Agroalimentaria (BITAL) (Research centre in Agri-foodstuffs Biotechnology), which will mean the participation of three research Groups within the University of Almería: BIO-175Development of microbiological techniques for the improval of soil agricultural interest, BIO-173: Marine microalgae biotechnology and; BIO-346: Aquatic Ecology and Aquaculture. It is then a task team which tackles every step of the process, identification of microorganisms on lab scale, industrial production, preservation of later and field evaluation.All of them led and coordinated by Biorizon Biotech S.L., which counts on extensive experience in research projects development and overall, experience in the market release of new solutions just as the evolution of the product catalogue demonstrates. The development of the project will mean a mobilization of an investment of over half a million euros, which will be cofinanced by the European Fund of Regional Development (FEDER), through the State Program of Research, Development and Innovation Oriented towards Society Challenges (RETOS-Colaboración 2015 summoning of MINECO).

BACAGRO’s success will not only allow an advancement in the technology of production and use of bacteria for agricultural use, but also it will make place for the development of new microalgae based products, opening up an important line of work in the production of this type of organisms as well as its usage in agriculture. This enables progression in sustainability and efficiency of agriculture, being the only way to maintain competitiveness in an economy each day more globalized.

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COMPREHENSIVE ASSESMENT OF MICROALGAE BIOMASS USED IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESSES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF AGRICULTURAL BIOFERTILIZERS 

Foto VALGEST

 

Biorizon Biotech is a Company whose main business line is the production of biofertilizers and bio-stimulants from the algae Spirulina platensis, in addition to other agricultural and animal feed products. 

Furthermore, it is undertaking other lines of product development based on microalgaes’ bioactive compounds. 

 

The overall objective of this industrial research project is:  

“To develop a comprehensive assessment of micro algae biomass created by wastewater treatments, under the concept of biorefinery, with the purpose of developing new product lines of biofertilizers and bio-stimulants.  

To increase Biorizon Biotech’s portfolio with new products of agricultural interest which will promote the sustainability of agricultural processes, both intensive and extensive. 

Developing the concept of biorefinery will maximize raw material through the extraction of value-added compounds, the formulation of animal feed products and the use of the remaining material as a nutrient in the production of plant growth promoting bacteria.  

Biorizon Biotech is currently working on this as a line of microbiological biofertilizers, creating a process with zero waste”. 

 

The above-mentioned project covers four technological objectives: 

  1. Develop and optimize the process of pre-treatment and removal of bioactive compounds from Scenedesmus sp.’s biomass, created from wastewater treatment. 
  1. Develop and optimize the enzymatic hydrolysis process of the extracted fractions of interest and formulate them as agricultural biofertilizers and bio-stimulants. 
  1. Evaluate its effect in soils and plants after applying the product in its final phase. 
  1. Develop a nutritious medium for plant growth-promoting bacteria, on the basis of the surplus and by-products of extraction and hydrolysis processes. 

The achievement of the project will increase the productivity of crops under plastic through the use of natural biofertilizers and bio-stimulants.  

These products will help reduce the impact of mineral fertilizers on the environment, as well as CO2 footprint, problems created by nitrate concentration in groundwater and soil salinity. 

At the same time, interconnecting the wastewater treatment process, through the usage of microalgae, with the valorization of resulting biomass in the production of biofertilizers, bio-stimulants and other value-added products, makes the process sustainable. Water is returned for agricultural use. Nutrients such as N and P are recovered from wastewater and will then be used to create phytonutrients. This will generate a negative rate of CO2, which translates into a parallel increase in the sustainability of crops in the use of these products intended to develop. 

To develop this R&D project, which started in October 2016 with a duration of 36 months, a Doctor of Advanced Agrochemistry was recruited through the Call for Torres Quevedo Aid. The R&D is financed by the Torres Quevedo Program (FEDER funds), created by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (With the administrative code for financial aid applications: PTQ-15-07929). 

 

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EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGY FOR BIOGAS BIOMETHANIZATION

The METinGREEN project pursues to develop a biogas upgrading-cleaning technology and blending the resulting biomethane from earlier steps with the objective of complying with the specifications mandated in the 2005/55/CE directive about natural gas quality for automotive usage. In order to test this new proposed technology, prototypes will be made for each of the three processes, considering a biogas processing scale of 2Nm3/h. It has been considered to do so: design activities, simulation of the physicochemical processes and analysis of the final product, pursuing to achieve the commercialization standards. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate the ability to recover energy in the integral water cycle, in this case, it is the purification process the most energy consuming step in the whole cycle. The results achieved will allow to escalate the technology towards a pre-industrial or industrial stage, so that once the project is finished, it will be in disposition to escalate and commercialize the technology and the industrial sized equipment. There exists more than 14.000 biogas producing plants, of which only 258 produce biomethane (mainly to inject it in the network). The market is, therefore, very large and thanks to the encouraging effect , it is expected to speed up results in order to have the technology ready for its commercialization.

It is about developing a new product, a series of prototypes. With METinGREEN a demonstration scale will be reached, which will allow to treat the biogas product of an anaerobic digestion. To do so, technology and prototypes will be developed for (1) Upgrading and (2) Cleaning. At the same time the optimization of the biomethane valorization process will be worked on, adding a new prototype based on the blending of gases. The final product will be a biomethane with similar properties to Natural Gas at a competitive cost for its commercialization.

The upgrading technology proposed is based on a low cost system, where the investing costs (CAPEX) and the operational costs (OPEX) are diminished. To do so, working with low pressure and absorption systems without additives (chemical products) is put into consideration, reducing drastically equipment costs. The process is based on physicochemical properties of the absorbent and its availability in different industrial processes. Therefore, the technological risk is based on the availability of said absorbent. Consequently, it will be necessary to design and modify the absorption system to minimize the absorbent demand and improve the technology disposition in those industrial processes where the absorbent does not exist.

Another technological challenge is the final quality of biomethane. The objective pursued in METinGREEN is for the product to achieve a quality in line with the current laws in our country: Protocolo de Detalle 001 (Detailed Protocol 001). However, depending of the substrate, the biogas quality may vary (rate of CH4% between 55-70%). The absorption system design  will be pivotal to determine the end quality of obtained biomethane, specially in poor biogas. Every prototype to be developed in the project will be scalable, meaning: will comply with ATEX regulations and different quality regulations. The end quality of biomethane will be contrasted in order to achieve the quality of Protocolo de Detalle 001 (Detailed Protocol 001).

For the developing of this R+D project initiated in January 2016 and ending in June 2017, we relied on the collaboration of the University of Almería,  having been funded by the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI) (centre for technological and industrial development), cofinanced by the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) (European regional development fund) through the Programa Operativo Plurirregional de Crecimiento Inteligente 2014-2020 (Operational multi-regional program of intelligent growth).

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BIOREFINERY OF FERTILIZING PRODUCTS FOR SELF-SUPPLY IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE EXPLOITATIONS

The biorefineries are facilities able to sustainably transform biomass into bioenergy and/or  bioproductsFoto bioREFINA.

The objectivefor the project bioREFINA is to transform in situ the vegetable waste generated by fruit and vegetables exploitations such as harvest waste, size and quality lack waste or other organic wastes, into three high quality fertilizing bioproducts.
Thus, an exploitation would go from buying third party fertilizers to produce their own biofertilizers created from their own or close surroundings vegetable residues, under a circular economic model.

The biorefinery process starts with a anaerobic termophilic digestion allowing to stabilize the organic matter and reduce risk of microbiological contamination. The biogas produced will be used as a renovable heat source to provide the process with energetic autonomy in the later steps of transformation of the digested product into 3 fertilizing products.

The solid fraction of the product will be transformed through composting in other co-substrates as an organic amendment to improve the soil quality and the crop health, while water and nutrients (mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) present in the liquid product will be used as a liquid fertilizer in fertirrigation systems. A fraction of the liquid product will be used to grow microalgae and later a biofertilizer with a microalgae base, rich in aminoacids and vegetable hormones.

The fertilizer obtained through the bioREFINA system will stand out thanks to its high hygienic quality and small carbon fooprint, essential characteristics in fruits and vegetables commercialized in centre and northern european markets, which are specially demanding.

The R+D project “BIOREFINERY BASED ON RESIDUAL AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK BIOMASS FOR THE OBTENTION OF SELF-SUPPLY BIOPRODUCTS IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE EXPLOITATIONS (bioREFINA)”, started in October 2016 and ending in December 2018, will be developed by a business committee headed by the murcian company AZUD expert in water technologies and industrial filtration solutions next to the andalusian companies BIORIZON BIOTECH, specialists in microalgae, and the fruit and vegetable grower entity MIGUEL GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ E HIJOS, as well as the galician company JB INGENIEROS, specialized in anaerobic digestion and biogas.

AINIA Technological Centre, experienced in the development of biorefineries, will carry out a technical coordination of the project. It will also give technological support to the commitee, the research group of “Marine Microalgae Biotechnology” from UNIVERSITY OF ALMERÍA and the Experimental Station “Las Palmerillas” of  CAJAMAR foundation. The team will be completed with the managements tasks in charge of which will be the Almería based consultancy CLEVER I+C, specialized in Biotechnology and Agrofood.

The project R+D bioREFINA’s success for having been chosen as one of the financed projects by the demanding Programa FEDER-INTERCONECTA, lies in its total alignment with the new agricultural  sustainability policies based on the bioeconomic models, through the practice of a circular economic process in an agroindustrial exploitation level that, among other aspects, will contribute in the reduction of the mineral fertilizers, improves the fruit and vegetable yield, as well as the implementation of a self management and residue valorization system.

This project is part of the FEDER INTERCONECTA 2016 summoning, financed by the CDTI, supported by the Ministry of Economy and and Competitiveness and cofinanced with European Union Structural Funds within <<Intelligent Growth Operative Programme 2014-2020>>

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 Sustainable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture and Aquaculture

Foto SABANASABANA aims at developing a large-scale integrated microalgae-based biorefinery for the production of biostimulants, biopesticides and feed additives, in addition to biofertilizers and aquafeed, using only marine water and nutrients from wastewaters (sewage, centrate and pig manure). The objective is to achieve a zero-waste process at a demonstration scales up to 5 ha sustainable both environmentally and economically. A Demonstration Centre of this biorefinery will be operated to demonstrate the technology, assess the operating characteristics of the system, evaluate environment impacts and collaborate with potential customers for use.

The key advantages of SABANA project are: the sustainability of the process, using marine water and recovering nutrients from wastewaters while minimizing the energy consumption, and the socioeconomic benefits, due to the relevance of the target bioproducts for two major pillars in food production as agriculture and aquaculture. Bioproducts capable of increasing the yield of crops and fish production are highly demanded, whereas recovery of nutrients is a priority issue in the EU. Instead of considering wastewater as an inevitably useless and problematic residue of our society, SABANA acknowledges its potential as an opportunity for economically relevant sectors.

SABANA project includes (i) the utilization of microalgae-bacteria consortia and in co-culture with other algae to control grazing species, (ii) the implementation of efficient thin-layer cascade and raceway, (iii) the scale-up of reactors to ensure stable operation, (iv) to use marine water to increase the sustainability of the process; (v) to recover nutrients from wastewaters, (vi) to develop harvesting processes taking into account the remaining water, (vii) to establish processes for mild/energy efficient extraction of bioproducts, (viii) to process residual biomass to produce biofertilizers and aquafeed in zero-waste schemes, (ix) using robust and sustainable technology.

LIST OF PARTNERS:

COMPANY

ROL

COUNTRY

UNIVERSIDAD DE ALMERÍA

Coordinator

Spain

FCC AQUALIA SA

Partner

Spain

GEA WESTFALIA SEPARATOR GROUP GMBH

Partner

Germany

KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE

Partner

Germany

BIORIZON BIOTECH SL

Partner

Spain

MIKROBIOLOGICKY USTAV – AVCR, V.V.I.

Partner

Czech Republic

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO

Partner

Italy

UNIVERSIDAD DE LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA

Partner

Spain

SZECHENYI ISTVAN UNIVERSITY

Partner

Hungary

CIB-CONSORZIO ITALIANO BIOGAS E GASSIFICAZIONE

Partner

Italy

PROJECT DETAILS:

 Topic(s): BG-01-2016 – Large-scale algae biomass integrated biorefineries

Call Identifier: H2020-BG-2016-1 See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme: IA – Innovation action

Project ID: 727874

Proposal Titel: Sustainable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture aNd Aquaculture (SABANA)

Duration (months): 48. From: 2016-12-01 To: 2020-11-30

Total Cost: EUR 10 646 705

UE Contribution: EUR 8 848 523,75

 

LINKS OF INTEREST:

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/205995_es.html

http://eu-sabana.eu/

 

 This project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under the Grant Agreement No. 727874

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PRODUCTION OF BIOPPLAGUICIDES FROM CYANOBACTERIA FOR USE IN AGRICULTURE – ALGAE 4CONTROL “

The consortium, led by the company Biorizon Biotech, together with the University of Almería and the Cajamar Foundation, receive funding from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities to work on biopesticides from microalgae.

The Andalusian consortium led by the biotechnology company Biorizon Biotech together with the University of Almería and Fundación Cajamar, begins the execution of the research project “Production of biopesticides from cyanobacteria for use in agriculture – ALGAE 4CONTROL”, financed by FEDER / Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities – State Research Agency / _Project (RTC-2017-6444-2), through the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to the Challenges of Society (Call RETOS-Collaboration 2017 of the MICINN), co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and resolved at the end of 2018. In turn, the coordination and management of the project will be in charge of CLEVER I + C, an Almeria R&D consultancy specialized in Biotechnology and Agrifood based in the Almería Science-Technology Park (PITA) and in Madrid, who has been the ideologist and promoter of the Project.

Its objective is the development of biopesticide formulations based on the use of antimicrobial metabolites from cyanobacteria (microalgae) for agricultural use as natural phytosanitary products of biological origin and sustainable against phytopathogenic microbial agents. Framed within the global objective, ALGAE4CONTROL contemplates six differentiated technological objectives: (i) Evaluate the biopesticidal activity of strains of microalgae against the most relevant phytopathogens in intensive agriculture, (ii) Characterize strains of microalgae of greater interest, in terms of their growth capacity depending on the operating conditions and their influence on the biopesticide activity. Additionally, consider the production of these strains using waste streams rich in nutrients from other processes, (iii) Identify the bioactive molecules produced by microalgae and establish biocompatible extraction methods, maximizing the sustainability of the process, (iv) Obtain and evaluate in vitro the extracts obtained to identify the mechanisms of action and develop formulations or optimized presentations for these products, (v) Scale the production process at a pilot level, from the production of the microalgae of interest to the extraction and formulation of the final product, (vi) Evaluate the bioactivity of the final product through field tests under real conditions.

ALGAE4 CONTROL with a total budget of more than half a million euros, will involve intense multidisciplinary public-private cooperation over a period of three years from October 2018, in which the Cajamar Foundation will participate as a reference research center in the field of intensive agriculture; The University of Almería will participate through the Center for Research in Food Biotechnology (BITAL), which will involve the participation in the project of three Research Groups belonging to the University of Almería: BIO-175: Development of microbiological techniques for the improvement of soils of agricultural interest, BIO-173: Biotechnology of marine microalgae and; RMN-346: Aquatic Ecology and Aquaculture; both led by the company Biorizon Biotech, SL, with extensive experience in the development of research projects and above all, with experience in putting new solutions on the market as demonstrated by the evolution of its product catalog, having It should be noted that it was the world pioneer in the development of biostimulant products for agriculture from microalgae. It is therefore a work team that addresses all stages of the process, identification of strains of microalgae of interest on a laboratory scale, production and industrial processing and their evaluation in the field.

 

INNTERCONECTA PROJECT 2018: “Improvement of the nutritional quality of feed for aquaculture by incorporating hydrolyzed microalgae enriched in probiotic microorganisms – ALQUABIOTIC”

The consortium, led by the company Global Feed (Tervalis Group), together with the companies Biorizon Biotech and DMC Research, receives a grant from the Center for Technological and Industrial Development to develop a new concept of more sustainable and nutritionally improved aquaculture feed.

The project “Improving the nutritional quality of feed for aquaculture by incorporating hydrolyzed microalgae enriched in probiotic microorganisms – ALQUABIOTIC”, has been selected in tenth position among the 63 projects approved out of a total of 187 projects submitted, to receive a grant from the FEDER-INNTERCONECTA 2018 Program, co-financed with Structural Funds of the European Union, which aims to support experimental development initiatives in the form of projects in cooperation between companies, with a geographic location of development in Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Castilla La Mancha , Castilla-León, Extremadura and Murcia.

In addition to microalgae, the project will work on the incorporation of probiotic microorganisms in the formulations of this type of feed as a novel strategy to reduce the use of antibiotics in aquaculture practices, as well as on the inclusion of enzymes that improve characteristics, assimilation and aquaculture feed digestibility. The ALQUABIOTIC project comprehensively outlines a new concept of feed in which the leading company GLOBAL FEED will be responsible for the development and evaluation of the new additives, Biorizon Biotech will be in charge of studying new microalgae with potential for use as substitutes for flour from fish, as well as its processing and, DMC Research Center will be the member responsible for the consortium to study and optimize new probiotic microorganisms. Together with the business consortium, the University of Almería (Research Groups RNM346-Aquatic ecology and aquaculture and BIO173-Biotechnology of marine microalgae), the University of Granada (Research Group BIO160-Study of antagonist substances produced by microorganisms) participate as research centers. and the company Fertinagro Biotech, in charge of providing support in biotechnological developments to the leading company Global Feed.

     

ISOLATION OF NEW EXTREMOPHILE BACTERIA, PROMOTING PLANT GROWTH AND ANTAGONISTS FOR USE AS BIOFERTILIZERS AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS.

The “CONTROLBAC” Project led by the biotechnology company Biorizon Biotech located in the Almería Science-Technology Park (PITA), in cooperation with the company Selhozsnab, LLC from the Russian city of Kemerovo, consists of the research and development of new biostimulant products and biopesticides from secondary metabolites from microorganisms isolated from natural environments as far away as the southeast of the peninsula or distant Siberia (Russia), as a natural tool to fight against the pests with the greatest incidence in agriculture that have their origin in bacteria and fungi with phytopathogenic activity.

The project contemplates four necessary technological objectives:

  • Selection and identification of Extremophilic bacteria beneficial to soils and plants.
  • Development of scalable production processes from selected bacteria that are competitive with their agricultural application.
  • Development of preservation methods and application of the bioproducts obtained in such a way as to guarantee their safety and efficacy.
  • Evaluation of the effect on soils and plants of the application of stabilized bioproducts.

The project with a total budget of 415,206.00 euros, in addition to the endorsement granted by the International R&D Program between Spain and Russia (RUSSIP), has been selected in seventh position out of a total of 113 proposals submitted to the call. INNOGLOBAL 2017, a call financed by funds from the Center for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), a body dependent on the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).

Advice for the presentation of a project to the SME Instrument H2020 call

Biorizon Biotech presents the ALGANAUTAS proposal, to the call H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 (EIC Accelerator Pilot), framed in the H2020 program, in its desire to continue contributing with its activity to the development of a circular economy.

For the presentation of the proposal to the H2020 call, an incentive has been received from the Andalusian Innovation and Development Agency IDEA, from the Junta de Andalucía, for an amount of 7,500 euros, 80% co-financed by the European Union to through the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF, to carry out the project “Advice for the presentation of a project to the SME Instrument H2020 call”, with the aim of promoting technological development, innovation and quality research.

 

Lines of Research

Biorizon Biotech develops their investigations in various areas, synergistic between them, making them able to topen new markets and development lines for new services and products.

We research and develop the production of beneficial bacteria for agricultural use.

These bacteria improve soil fertility and growth of empowered agents in face of diverse phytopathogens.

Our research is also directed to the creation of new boosting fertilizers and biological supplements free from residue through the benefits of the new microalgae varieties.

Our research has allowed for the creation of microalgae production techniques of the finest quality, even for uncommon varieties, providing compounds with a high concentration of aminoacids, polysaccharides, phytohormones, trace elements and antioxidants.

This research have been the base for the AlgaeTech startup, a company in the Biorizon Group which has as an objective to become one of the largest microalgae producers at an international level.

Being our own suppliers of microalgae gives us control and the ability to guarantee the quality of the commercialized products as well as improving their development.

Biorizon Biotech is part of a committee that is developing new techniques in the urban sewage water purification through the use of microalgae and later exploitation of the process’ subproducts to produce biofertilizer.

This research has yielded great results and offer a very promising path towards its industrial level startup.

Biorizon Biotech is part of different technological platforms through which the technical and R+D department maintains and works the relationships allowing the develop of R+D+I projects and new products.

FOOD FOR LIFE-SPAIN:

European Platform with representatives such as FIAB, AINIA, AMEC, ANFAO-CECOPESCA, ASAJA, CCAE, CENTRA-IRTA, CNTA and CTC.

CORDIS:

European Commission’s Technological Platform.

Andalucía Bioregión:

Strategic booster unit of the Andalusian Biotech Cluster.

MITAndalucía:

This platform defines itself as defines itself as the Andalusian Market for Ideas and Technologies.

CESEAND:

Andalusian node from the European Network of  Centres supporting PYME in terms of Internationalization, Innovation and technological Transfer (Enterprise Europe Network).

Fundación TECNOVA, Centro Tecnológico:

Foundation for the Auxiliary Agriculture technologies. Biorizon Biotech is integrated as a member of its board.

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