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Sponge Enzymes and Cells for Innovative AppLications

Objective

The SPECIAL project aims at delivering breakthrough technologies for the biotechnological production of cellular metabolites and extracellular biomaterials from marine sponges. These include a platform technology to produce secondary metabolites from a wide range of sponge species, a novel in vitro method for the production of biosilica and recombinant technology for the production of marine collagen.
Research on cellular metabolites will be based upon our recent finding that non-growing sponges continuously release large amounts of cellular material. Production of biosilica will be realized through biosintering, a novel enzymatic process that was recently discovered in siliceous sponges. Research on sponge collagen will focus on finding the optimal conditions for expression of the related genes.
Alongside this research, the project will identify and develop new products from sponges, thus fully realizing the promises of marine biotechnology. Specifically, the project will focus on potential anticancer drugs and novel biomedical/industrial applications of biosilica and collagen, hereby taking advantage of the unique physico-chemical properties of these extracellular sponge products.
The consortium unites seven world-class research institutions covering a wide range of marine biotechnology-related disciplines and four knowledge-intensive SMEs that are active in the field of sponge culture, drug development and nanobiotechnology.
The project is clearly reflecting the strategic objectives outlined in the position paper European Marine Strategy (2008); it will enhance marine biotechnology at a multi-disciplinary, European level and provide new opportunities for the European industry to exploit natural marine resources in a sustainable way. In particular the biotechnological potential of marine sponges, which has for a long time been considered as an eternal promise, will be realized through the SPECIAL project.

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2010-4
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO
Address
Largo Do Paco
4704 553 Braga
Portugal
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 532 932
Administrative Contact
Rui L. Reis (Prof.)

Participants (10)

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 413 500
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Lea Pais (Ms.)
Porifarma BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 405 570
Address
Poelbos 3
6718 HT Ede
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jasper Merijn De Goeij (Dr.)
STUDIO ASSOCIATO GAIA SNC DEI DOTTORI ANTONIO SARA E MARTINA MILANESE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 178 000
Address
Piazza Della Vittoria 15/23
16121 Genova
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Martina Milanese (Dr.)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 264 000
Address
Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mauro Vallarino (Prof.)
UNIVERSITAETSMEDIZIN DER JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAET MAINZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 466 350
Address
Langenbeckstrasse 1
55131 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Uta Veith (Dr.)
National Research Center for Geoanalysis
China
EU contribution
€ 131 320
Address
Baiwanzhuang 26
100037 Beijing
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Xiaohong Wang (Prof.)
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 233 832
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Rolf Lewensohn (Prof.)
ATRAHASIS SRL
Italy
EU contribution
€ 164 700
Address
Via Cassia 929
00189 Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Andrea Alimonti (Dr.)
UNIVERSIDADE DOS ACORES
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 100 878
Address
Rua Da Mae De Deus Reitoria Apartado 1422
9501 801 Ponta Delgada S Miguel Acores
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Francisco Franco (Mr.)
NANOTECMARIN GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 100 600
Address
Muhlstrasse 19
55218 Ingelheim Am Rhein
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Heinz C. Schröder (Prof.)