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Novel marine derived biomolecules and industrial biomaterials

Specific Challenge:Due to the rich biodiversity and the specific physical and chemical conditions of the marine ecosystems, seas and oceans possess the capacity to produce a variety of molecules with unique features, unmatched biochemical diversity and structural complexity. This explains the increased recognition of marine organisms and microorganisms as a source of bioactive compounds and biomaterials with biotechnological, pharmaceutical or other industrial application. However, while an increasing number of marine derived products are becoming commercialized, increasing the efficiency of the marine biodiscovery pipelines and developing sustainable technologies using marine sources in an environmentally responsible manner are still important challenges to be addressed.

Scope:Proposals should aim to develop innovative approaches to address the technical bottlenecks of marine resource identification, sustainable supply, discovery pipelines (e.g. separation, structure elucidation, identification of the profile of bioactives, de-replication strategies, mode of action, etc.) as well as more efficient production in biological systems. Proposals should be industry-driven. Proposals should cover the innovation chain from research, to development, and proof of concept. Legal aspects linked to securing clear access to marine resources, including related infrastructures and bio-resources banks and collections, their sustainable use as well as Access and Benefit Sharing aspects, should be properly considered. Environmental viability of the proposed concept should also be taken on board.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6–10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impacts:

  • Enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of European  industry sectors such as pharmaceutical, nutraceticals cosmetic, industrial biotechnology and fine chemical, through increased efficiency of marine biodiscovery pipelines;
  • Bring broad societal benefits, by allowing development of novel, improved or more economic and eco-friendly end-products and processes;
  •  Structuring of the European Research Area in this field;
  • Contribute to the implantation of the objectives of the EU Blue Growth.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions