The Queen’s University of Belfast was the venue for the 2nd Marine Biodiscovery Workshop on the 10th and 11th December, 2009, bringing together experts in all aspects of identifying, harvesting and processing new ‘bioactive’ compounds from the sea.
The Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Beaufort Marine Biodiscovery Research Workshop and a Summary Report of the 1st Annual Beaufort Marine Biodiscovery Research Workshop have now been published and are available to download from the Library Section of our website under the Marine Research Sub-Programme (NDP 2007-'13) Series.
“The marine environment covers 71% of the earth's surface and is home to more than 90% of all living things on this planet,” said Dr. Dermot Hurst of the Marine Institute. “Many of the diverse habitats in the world's oceans are yet to be fully explored, which represents a vast treasure chest of new and potentially valuable natural products for application in areas such as drug discovery, functional food ingredients and materials of commercial application in the fields of bio-medical and nutritional science and devices. This is why the Marine Institute supports a range of marine biotechnology projects that target the diversity within Irish waters with a view to identifying and developing this resource.”
The Beaufort Biodiscovery Project is a major element of Ireland’s developing marine biotechnology research activity, with significant progress already being reported on projects examining materials from algae, sponges, barnacles and marine bacteria. The Belfast workshop provided an opportunity for researchers and industry to find out more about Ireland’s marine biotechnology activity.
Project leaders highlighted progress on projects funded to date, under the Biodiscovery Programme of Sea Change – Ireland’s Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007 – 2013. These projects aim to investigate and highlight opportunities for future marine biotechnology related research.
“The main objectives of the Workshop were to encourage networking and further collaboration between research institutes, agencies and industry, so that we can develop synergies between individual projects in a co-ordinated national approach,” said Dr. Hurst. “If we can do this, then the event will significantly contribute to Ireland’s goal of becoming an international leader in the new and potentially valuable area of marine biotechnology research.”