The Spanish EMBRC node, made up of UPV/EHU and the University of Vigo, was strengthened last week through the addition of a new partner: the Spanish Algae Bank of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 

Press release (translated from Spanish) - 8 April 2022. Through the signing today of an agreement at the headquarters of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), the Spanish Bank of Algae (BEA) joins the Spanish node of EMBRC, the European Marine Biological Resource Centre.

EMBRC is a pan-European research infrastructure that enables access to Europe's marine biological resources and ecosystems for the international scientific community and blue economy entities. Thanks to its 70 facilities and marine stations located in 10 countries, this infrastructure, established in the European Union as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), has been, since 2018, the main provider of marine biological resources and services for research in Europe promoting fundamental and applied research in biomedicine, biotechnology and marine ecology, thus catalysing the development of the blue economy in the international arena.

The Plentzia Marine Station (PiE-UPV/EHU) of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the Marine Science Station of Toralla (ECIMAT-UVigo), belonging to the Marine Research Centre (CIM) of the University of Vigo (UVigo), have been the two institutions representing Spain in EMBRC (EMBRC-ES) since its foundation. With the signing of this adhesion agreement today, the Spanish Algae Bank (BEA-ULPGC), belonging to the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and managed by the Fundación Canaria Parque Ciencia Tecnológico, will become part of EMBRC. The signing event for the agreement took place at the Rector's Office of the Canarian university, with the presence of its Rector, Lluís Serra, the Rector of the UPV/EHU, Eva Ferreira, and the Vice-Rector for Research of the UVigo, María Belén Rubio, as representatives of the three institutions. Also in attendance, along with other authorities, were the Executive Director of EMBRC, Nicolas Pade, and representatives of the three institutions that are part of EMBRC-ES, including the deputy director of PiE-UPV/EHU, Manuel Soto, and the scientific deputy director of EMBRC-ES and member of PiE-UPV/EHU, Ibon Cancio. After signing the agreement before the media and local authorities, the event will continue with a visit to the BEA facilities in the Taliarte Marine Park.

The adhesion of BEA-ULPGC constitutes the culmination of the work initiated in the project 'Network for the coordination and strategic positioning of the Spanish Node of the European Marine Biological Resource Center (EMBRC-ERIC)', financed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. Thanks to this adhesion, the institutional consolidation of EMBRC operations in the country will proceed, through the provision of services in the field of marine biology and ecology. To date, these services have been focused on monitoring the quality of the marine environment and the study of marine biodiversity and the effects of climate change.

With the inclusion of BEA-ULPGC, the portfolio of research services offered by EMBRC-ES is extended to the field of marine biotechnology, key in the blue economy on which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are based and which constitute one of the main strategic political objectives of the European Union. In the same way, this expansion allows EMBRC's sphere of action to be extended, by facilitating access to the marine ecosystems of the subtropical waters of the Canary Islands. All this will contribute to improving the opportunities for national and international collaboration of EMBRC-ES, promoting the research work of its three institutions in the area of ​​marine sciences through collaboration with international researchers in various disciplines and with scientific and private entities.

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