7 March 2019 – Three CABI scientists have this week been sharing their expertise in microbiology at the European Parliament and follow up workshop at Scotland House in Brussels to highlight the value of marine resources in research and development.
Dr David Smith, Director of Biological Resources, chaired a breakfast meeting hosted by Clare Moody MEP – which was organised by the European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster (EMBRIC) project- before attending a workshop entitled ‘Treasures from the Deep’.
Dr Smith, who also led a question and answer session at the meeting, was one of three organisers that also included Dr Rebecca Goss from the University of St Andrews and Dr Mariella Ferrante of The Marine Station in Naples. The meeting was an opportunity for networking and participation in future European Commission projects.
Meanwhile, the Treasures from the Deep workshop was an opportunity for EMBRIC to showcase European research in ‘Mining for Valuable Bioactive and Enzymes from Marine Algae and Bacteria’ with experts from academia and industry who discussed steps to unlock the vast potential for this research to positively impact health, society and the economy.
Dr Smith said, ‘EMBRIC is an EU-funded collaborative project that aims to facilitate translational marine science and remove existing bottlenecks that are currently impeding blue innovation.’
‘With the project concluding in June, I’m pleased to say CABI’s input has contributed well towards the aims, objectives and deliverables which include accessing the potential of marine organisms, specifically on the 99% of bacteria yet to be grown in culture, the microalgae, finfish, and shellfish.’
Dr Smith reported that EMBRIC, whose case studies have focused on two specific sectors of marine biotechnology -the discovery and exploitation of marine natural products and the marker-assisted selection of desirable traits in aquaculture -have demonstrated that new species of bacteria can still be found in the oceans with interesting and useful properties.
EMBRIC brings together the expertise of six European Research Infrastructures on accessing the potential of marine organisms, specifically on the 99% of bacteria yet to be grown in culture, the microalgae, finfish, and shellfish. It improves the throughput and efficiency of workflows for discovery of novel marine products and facilitates projects that require an interdisciplinary approach.
The objective is to develop coherent chains of high-quality services for access to biological, analytical, and data resources by deploying common underpinning technologies and practices. The connection of academic science with industry is being strengthened by engaging companies, as well as geographically separated public and private-sector communities in the domain of marine biotechnology, and by federating technology transfer services amongst the players involved.