Marine Biotechnology researchers share their projects at the AA-BIOTECMAR Workshop
On the 1st and 2nd of November of 2021, more than 40 experts and researchers from 14 countries from all across the Atlantic participated in an international two-day online workshop organized by Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where they shared their research and projects regarding Marine Biotechnology.
Across the two days, participants presented their research aims, findings and prospects about topics related to biotechnology applied to the marine sciences. After the presentations and subsequent Q&A, which were strongly focused on microbiomes and reefs, a plenary session took place to find out common challenges, opportunities, and interests to be further jointly developed in the Marine Biotechnology field.
The workshop led to the conclusion that bioprospecting, i.e. the exploration of natural sources for new products of social and commercial value, is still a very crude field of action. To refine it, the AA-BIOTECMAR consortium will try to develop new pipelines that protect and develop these valuable resources. Several options for forthcoming research projects include: working together on a limited number of sites; examining the integration of natural product discovery workflows; establishing a prototype protocol for better microbial biodiversity tools (including bioinformatics) from meta- to other –omics to be used at all sites; and participating in coral reef conservation actions, including coral farming. There is also a strong need for seeking new funding opportunities across the Atlantic embracing the participants from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Kenia, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, and South Africa.
According to two senior researchers that were present, the contributions of the workshop to the Marine Biotechnology field were of a very high level of importance and could be the start of a new and fruitful network and collaborations between experts and researchers. The workshop clearly put many new opportunities on the table.
This workshop was developed under the All-Atlantic Marine Biotechnology Initiative (AA-BIOTECMAR) Joint Pilot Action of the AANChOR project, which is part of Work Package 4 – Knowledge Transfer for Ocean Innovation and Economy. The AA-BIOTECMAR Joint Pilot Action aims to foster collaborations across governments, academic, and private sectors in the field of Marine Biotechnology, while also creating mechanisms of technology transfer and promoting the development of new marine biotechnology companies at the Atlantic Ocean level.
To find out more about the BIOTECMAR Joint Pilot Action and how to engage with it click here.