EMBRIC brings Europe’s Marine Blue Bio-economy forward. | EMBRC

EMBRIC brings Europe’s Marine Blue Bio-economy forward.

2015.06.02

EMBRIC brings Europe’s Marine Blue Bio-economy forward.

On 1 June 2015 a new Horizon 2020 programme, EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster), kicks off a series of activities to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine Bio-Resources. EMBRIC aims to promote new applications derived from marine organisms in fields such as drug discovery, novel foods and food ingredients, aquaculture selective breeding, bioremediation, cosmetics and bioenergy.

will bring Europe’s Marine Blue Bio-economy agenda to the fore

EMBRIC

On 1 June 2015 a new Horizon 2020 programme, EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster), kicks off a series of activities to bring Europe’s ‘Blue Bio-Economy’ agenda to the fore. Funded with €9 million until 2019, EMBRIC will connect marine biotechnology initiatives that focus on science, industry and regional growth. Over the next 4 years, coherent chains of high quality services will be developed for access to biological, analytical and data resources by connecting research infrastructures in Europe to deploy common underpinning technologies and practices. The EMBRIC consortium connects 6 Existing European Research Infrastructures. Four ESFRI Research Infrastructures (EMBRC | marine biology, MIRRI | microbial resources, EU-OPENSCREEN | compound screening, ELIXIR | e-infrastructure) and two Integrating Activity projects (AQUAEXCEL | aquaculture facilities and RISIS | research and innovation policy)

   

 

   

EMBRIC is designed to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine bioresources through the establishment of multidisciplinary technological workflows, joint development activities, training and knowledge transfer and pilot access to cluster facilities and services. EMBRIC also connects technology transfer (TT) officers from contrasting innovation ecosystems in Europe to promote greater cohesion in TT practices. It engages with RDI policy-makers with the aim of consolidating a perennial pan-European virtual infrastructure cluster rooted in the maritime regions of Europe.

Marine biotechnology seeks to unlock the vast economic potential presented by living systems in the world’s oceans. Fragmentation has made it difficult to exploit this potential to its fullest – for instance research services that operate in isolation, barriers (practical and cultural) between academic and commercial R&D, and a lack of harmony in regional innovation policies. EMBRIC seeks to overcome these barriers by linking biological and social science research infrastructures throughout Europe, and by joining up aligned efforts in science, industry and regions. EMBRIC engages industry in multiple ways. The joint development activities interacts with cognate private actors to identify and implement market pulled innovative projects, presenting a high potential for TT. Industry is also one of the main targets in the communication strategy of WP1 and dedicated dissemination tools and outreach events will be used to attract new industrial users and promote the cluster.

The objectives of EMBRIC are to:

1. strengthen the connection of science with industry by engaging companies and by federating technology transfer (TT) services;

2. defragment RDI policies and involve maritime regions with the construction of EMBRIC.

3. Acceleration of the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine bioresources will be achieved through:
      - establishment of multidisciplinary service-oriented technological workflows;
      - joint development activities focusing on bioprospection for novel marine natural products and marker-assisted selection in aquaculture
      - training and knowledge transfer;
      - pilot transnational access to cluster facilities and services.

EMBRIC addresses three target areas:

Microbial pipeline from environment to active compounds

EMBRIC assembles an effective pipeline from microorganisms in the environment to active molecules and products on the market.  This includes realizing the potential of recalcitrant bacteria, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a harmonized natural product discovery pipeline, allowing for the influence of organism type on extraction and metabolic profiling.

Microalgae for blue biotechnological applications

EMBRIC demonstrates that linking complementary expertise in biology, analytical chemistry and genetic engineering at multiple RIs can provide the blue biotechnology industry with high-performance strains from across the diversity of microalgae. This involves:

  • Proof of concept that strains from across microalgal diversity constitute a rich resource of natural products for commercial exploitation;
  • Proof of concept that microalgal strains can be genetically engineered to improve their performance capabilities for commercial exploitation;
  • Proof of concept that selective breeding in microalgae in combination with genotype screening can produce strains with improved performance in commercial applications.

Development of biological resources for the selective breeding of shellfish and finfish

EMBRIC puts substantial efforts into developing the resources needed for the selective breeding of shellfish and finfish. This part of the work will focus on commercial needs, ensuring their practices and strategic goals are in line with cutting-edge molecular research largely performed outside of companies at partner academia and institutions. Leading companies involved in the project include TUNATECH GmbH in Germany http://www.tunatech.de/, XELECT Ltd. in Scotland http://www.xelect.co.uk and SCALPRO in Norway. The main focus areas are:

  • develop protocols for assessing the most commercially important traits of growth, yield and disease resistance in King scallop (Pecten maximus) from cultivation sites in Norway and Scotland as a model species. The partners will also develop methodologies for ‘disease-challenge trials’ to establish this organism’s susceptibility and resistance to Vibrio spp. and other pathogens traditionally associated with death in shellfish.
  • methods to assess import traits for selection in finfish, including feed-conversion efficiency (European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax), parasite resistance (Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar), flesh texture and fat content (Atlantic Bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus), and growth rates (larval and fingerling of greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili). 

By enabling researchers to involve industry from the beginning of the experimental process, EMBRIC will accelerate translation by allowing companies to integrate results and protocols directly into commercial processes. The EMBRIC “Company Forum” will be open to anyone working in aquaculture, providing a platform for sharing and discussing results and fostering interaction amongst diverse stakeholders.

About EMBRIC

EMBRC headquarters is situated in central Paris at the Jussieu Campus of the University of Pierre & Marie Curie (UPMC). The project is coordinated by Professor Bernard Kloareg (UPMC, Roscoff).
For general enquiries please contact ">

Nicolas, Pade | MBA

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