The Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET (ERA-MBT) partners, a consortium of 19 national funding bodies from 13 European countries, met at the Marine Institute in Galway last week from 3-4 September to co-ordinate a collective approach to funding trans-nationalmarine biotechnology research and innovation projects.
Marine biotechnology research involves the use of marine bio-resources including fish, algae, bacteria and marine invertebrates, either as the source or the target of biotechnology applications.
Our oceans are home to an abundance of marine bio-resources that can be used in food, chemicals, industrial materials and the health sectors. Marine biotechnology can help to unlock the potential of marine bio-resources as well as enable the production of an array of new products such as novel food sources, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers and cosmetics.
“The new collaborations to be supported by the ERA-MBT project will see academic and industry researchers working on innovative products and processes that will contribute to the development of sustainable food sources; improving our health; as well as helping to address marine related environmental issues,” said Dr Dermot Hurst, representing the Marine Institute.
Dr Hurst is responsible for defining the strategy of how the ERANET will enable new research and innovation and the creation of new approaches to transnational funding for marine biotechnology research and innovation activities.
“The ERA-MBT project is directly relevant to and supportive of Ireland’s Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth national strategy which identified the development of marine bio-resources as one of a number of new and emerging opportunities,” he said.
Major tasks completed during the Galway meeting included finalising the structure and content of the first call for research proposals from the ERA-MBT and plans for a major stakeholder workshop to be held in Lisbon on the 28-29 October. More information on the project can be found at www.marinebiotech.eu.
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