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INNOVATIVE TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE EXPLORATION OF MARINE MICROBIOMINNOVATIVE TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE EXPLORATION OF MARINE MICROBIOMES: TOWARDS A CIRCULAR BLUE BIOECONOMY AND HEALTHIER MARINE ENVIRONMENTS

Project description

Safely and sustainably utilising marine microbiomes

Marine microbiomes, which represent roughly 90 % of living marine biomass, are mostly unable to be cultivated. This leads to an unexplored source of multiple materials and compounds that are useful in a variety of sectors. Unfortunately, conventional tools and methods to explore and cultivate marine microbiomes may result in ecological damage or ethical issues. Therefore, the EU-funded BLUETOOLS project offers a solution. It will develop several new methodologies and tools, utilising a combination of various fields, which will allow for the efficient, safe and sustainable utilisation of marine microbiomes to improve different aspects of our daily lives, from nutrition to agriculture, health and environmental protection.

Objective

Marine microbiomes represent 90% of the total living marine biomass but only a small fraction of them can be cultivated. For this reason, they are an underexplored source of bioactive compounds, carbohydrate polymers and proteins, among others. Sampling the marine biodiversity, screening, identifying and isolating the relevant microbes is cumbersome, expensive and results in a heavy environmental burden, low yields, high costs and long times to market. Therefore, new approaches are necessary to overcome the limitations for the study of marine microbial communities and their “econological use”. BLUETOOLS will unravel the potential of marine microbiomes for healthier oceans and the Blue Bioeconomy through integration of different fields to develop cutting-edge tools that support fast, efficient AND sustainable exploration and exploitation of microbiomes, avoiding the drawbacks of conventional biodiscovery practices.
The expected results of BLUETOOLS include discovering several hundreds of enzymes, rhodopsins, resistance genes, antimicrobials and anti-microfouling agents, thanks to a hybrid workflow of in silico and microfluidics-based functional discovery, resulting in the commercialization ≥400 enzymes for biocatalysis and ≥2 new solutions for plastic/polymer degradation, increasing the revenue of our industrial partners by 10-15%.
BLUETOOLS assembles 5 leading European companies, 8 academic teams and 1 private RTO that have pioneered approaches in functional metagenomics, microfluidics, microbial ecology and synthetic biology. The presence of diverse, complementary industrial stakeholders in the consortium (from pharma to materials science to sustainability) at different stages in the research-to-market process (from RTOs to SMEs to large end-users) provides a unique opportunity for broad value creation. The planned activities will span 48 months and the project is estimated at ca. 9 M€, with 60% of the total dedicated to creating highly-qualified jobs

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Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE MADRID
Net EU contribution
€ 1 075 665,00
Address
Calle einstein 3 ciudad univ cantoblanco rectorado
28049 Madrid
Spain

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Region
Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (12)

Partners (2)