Marine organisms produce a vast diversity of primary and secondary metabolites with antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, nutritional, photoprotective activity or other beneficial properties. The exploitation of marine bioresources and the valorisation of their natural products are encompassed by the burgeoning field of marine biotechnology, which is a high priority for the successful implementation of Blue Growth and Bioeconomy strategies within the EU. Marine biotechnology contributes to achieving 14 out of 17 UN sustainable development goals.
While the demand for alternative sources of food, drugs and chemicals is increasing, the sea and its vast biota remain largely underexplored and unexploited. Despite the short history marine organisms delivered close to 30.000 natural products, many more awaiting to be discovered. This implies a strong need for enhanced transdisciplinary collaborations within scientific fields and multisectoral collaboration where citizens, researchers, policy makers, industrial and societal actors can work together.
Ocean4Biotech is a COST action that started in 2019 and will be ongoing until 2023.
The overall aim of Ocean4Biotech is to:
- bring together experts in the field of marine biotechnology,
- provide a platform for sharing experience, knowledge and technologies,
- design a roadmap for a more efficient and rapid development of marine biotechnology research in Europe and beyond.
To best of our knowledge, such a large, diverse and geographically dispersed network of experts in marine biotechnology does not exist. Since marine biotechnology is still in its infancy, we believe this is the optimal timing to create this efficient, operational, motivated, inclusive and sustainable network with a serious and ambitious commitment for proactive dissemination and science communication activities.
More information about Ocean4Biotech Action can be found here.
Action’s Memorandum of understanding can be found here.