12 October 2016: The Marine Biotechnology Research and Innovation Roadmap was launched by ERA-MBT today in Brussels. The EU funded Marine Biotechnology Consortium, ERA-MBT, brings together 19 partners from 14 countries across Europe to work with stakeholders in identifying marine biotechnological needs, and gaps in the value chain in an attempt to increase the valorisation of marine bioresources. Developing a roadmap for future research and innovation was a key project deliverable and it will now set the direction for future marine biotechnology developments and transnational activities in Europe.
The Marine Institute is a partner in the EU funded Marine Biotechnology Consortium and led the development of the Marine Biotechnology Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap. Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute congratulated all those involved in the development of the Roadmap and in particular Dr. Dermot Hurst who led the Marine Institute's contribution. Commenting on the launch of the Roadmap, Dr Heffernan, said "The role played by the Marine Institute in supporting the development of Ireland's marine biotechnology research capabilities through funds awarded to the NutraMara and Beaufort Biodiscovery projects has placed Ireland in a strong international position as a recognised leader in marine biotechnology and related research."
Today's bioeconomy is advancing faster and showing greater promise than ever before, driven by both scientific advances and markets demanding sustainable solutions to todays global grand challenges of food and fuel security, sustainable industry and population health. The global market for marine biotechnology has the potential to reach €5.8 billion by 2025 and Europe is recognised as a high-potential region for future growth resulting from an extensive, yet largely unexplored marine resource.
The Marine Biotechnology Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap has been developed to support the development of marine biotechnology research and innovation, enabling its growth within a self-sustained enterprise driven network. The Roadmap provides a practical and realistic approach by which marine bioresources and biotechnology can contribute to economic and societal progress. National and European policy organisations can use the Roadmap in developing measures to maximise the contribution of the Ocean's bioresources to the bioeconomy and societal welfare, and funding agencies can use it to identify marine biotechnology related research themes.
Speaking from Ireland's perspective, Dr Heffernan said: "This Roadmap directs attention to areas of research which are relevant to Ireland's enterprise sector and as such confirms the opportunities described by the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Development Task Force regarding marine resource-based industries adding value to their products and services through marine biotechnology. "