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CSA (Coordinating) in Marine Biotechnology

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Maximising use of marine biotechnology

Europe's seas are a bountiful source of food and energy as well as innovative drugs and new industrial processes. An EU-funded initiative based on the principles of sustainability was established to make use of this natural cornucopia.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

Marine biotechnology has the potential to address some of the most pressing problems facing society, such as environmental degradation and sustainable food and energy supply. The 'Coordinating and Support Action in marine biotechnology' (MARINEBIOTECH) project was established to help develop the scientific, economic and social benefits of marine biotechnology through funding and dissemination.Marine bio-resources such as microbes, seaweed and invertebrates contain bioactive compounds that are useful in medicines, food, enzymes and biomaterials. They can also be used as an alternative energy source for petrochemical products such as oil. Marine biotechnology can also be applied to aquaculture and the monitoring and remediation of ecosystems. The bioactivity of marine organisms was exploited to develop new molecules, novel anticancer drugs, pain killers and antibiotics. Currently, there are a number of products already on the market and around 15 marine natural products under clinical development. The MARINEBIOTECH initiative has improved understanding of the marine biotechnology landscape in Europe and beyond. Moreover, it established a group of fundraisers dedicated to developing a European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) focused on marine biotechnology. This will improve collaboration between EU countries and encourage innovation in the sector.Besides organising workshops and conferences, the consortium also disseminated relevant information regarding research, innovation and development through the project's website, newsletters, reports and briefing documents.MARINEBIOTECH can help use Europe's seas to provide vital support for economic recovery and growth. Furthermore, the initiative will make a valuable contribution to developing greener, smarter economies, central to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Blue Growth Communication.

Keywords

Marine biotechnology, sustainability, food, bioenergy, human health, industrial processes, enzymes, polymers, biomaterial

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