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Marine Biotech Partners Meet At Marine Institute

8th September 2014
Marine Biotech Partners Meet At Marine Institute

#MarineScience - 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-national marine 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.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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