Photo: Mikal Schlosser

Luminous algae become sustainable lamps at Roskilde Festival

Friday 06 Jul 18
by Jeppe-Moelgaard-Thomsen
The DTU start-up Allumen will inspire people to think about the perspectives of using luminous algae as a sustainable alternative to normal light sources.

The natural phenomenon bioluminescence covers a chemical reaction, which causes algae to emit a blue light when they are shaken at night. Especially near the Equator, you can be lucky enough to see a whole beach full of glowing, blue waves lapping at the shore.

Two DTU students and a CBS student have established the start-up Allumen based on this phenomenon. They have brought materials that allow the festival-goers to build their own algae lamps at Roskilde Festival. The festival-goers must then complete a questionnaire about their experience with the algae.

“Roskilde Festival is a great place for us to test our product and get constructive feedback from the users, which we can use in the further product development,” says Chief Design Officer Signe Friis Schack, who has just completed her BSc Eng in Design and Innovation at DTU.  

But it’s not just about building a marketable product for Allumen. A key element of their vision is educating and making more people interested in the luminous algae and in science in general. They therefore sell course packages to schools for use in, for example, biology classes. So far, they have sold packages to nine different educational institutions.

“We get some very valuable feedback from the students. We have found out that elementary school pupils find it really exciting to work with algae, but also that high school students found it a bit too easy. So now we are working on producing course packages for the different age groups,” says CFO Michael Spendler, who studies business administration at CBS.

In addition to Signe and Michael, Allumen also consists of Kristian Ejlsted, who is the ideas man behind Allumen and now serves as the CEO of the company. He also studies biotechnology at DTU.

Roskilde Festival - powered by DTU students

  • In 2010, Roskilde Festival and DTU entered into a formal collaboration about using the Festival as a future laboratory and create innovative engineering solutions to some of the Festival challenges. Learn more on Roskilde Festival - powered by DTU students.

  • The students will earn five ECTS points in the course of the project period. The collaboration has also ensured that DTU students behind the start-ups Volt, DropBucket , Kubio (Danish website), PeeFence, and GLØD have had a platform for testing their technology before they started their businesses.

  • DTU’s own coverage can be followed on, Facebook, and Instagram.

DTU’s journalists are present throughout the Festival. For more information about the projects and interviews with students, contact Tore Vind Jensen, +45 3026 7710,

Related videos  

video thumbnail image

We Engineer - what we do and why

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

Show more

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.