The 1st UCIBIO Workshop on Blue Biotechnology took place on the 17th of June at FCT NOVA. The workshop was organized by UCIBIO researchers that develop research on the area: Mário Diniz, leader of the BioTox Lab, Pedro M Costa, leader of the SeaTox Lab, and Susana Gaudêncio, leader of the Blue Biotechnology & Biomedicine Lab.
The European Union aims at leading Blue Biotechnology. UCIBIO endeavours to be in the frontline of such ambition and widen its role within this field of research, with emphasis on human wellbeing. “The workshop aimed essentially at exploring potential synergies within UCIBIO and put them to use in the emerging field of applied Science that is Blue Biotechnology. We aimed at rounding about labs and industry already dedicated to Blue Biotech and attracting the analytical and technical expertise of other research groups in order to expand or build new collaborative efforts”, say the organizers.
Above all, Marine Biotechnology is, by definition, multidisciplinary. The correlation between potential and challenges is the best showcase to gather the attention of our peers. We therefore successfully presented a wide range of topics that, even though far from the real potential of Blue Biotech, highlight its many facets: from food and feed production to novel biomaterials, eco-friendly pesticides, drug discovery and other biomedical aspects. The involvement of industrialists was a major asset of the workshop.
Blue Biotechnology offers invaluable societal and economical assets. First, the oceans’ immense biodiversity can provide new bioactive compounds and biomaterials that can replace the costly and risky process of developing synthetics. This alone can bring about safer and more affordable pharmaceuticals for all, as well as new surgical biomaterials, eco-friendly pesticides and antifoulants, etc. The potential is immense. Second, we can optimise the production of marine algal biomass to obtain food, animal feed and biofuels using clean processes. We may even explore the abilities of some marine organisms to eliminate pollutants and even plastic materials. “Finally, it must be said that the best possible way to promoting marine conservation is to show before the general public that marine biodiversity is a most important source of knowledge, wealth and wellbeing.”, highlight the organizers.
Maria João Romão, Director of UCIBIO
Virgilio Machado, Dean of FCT NOVA
Maria João Fernandes, ANI: "BLUE BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE EU CONTEXT. From Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe"
Juliana Monteiro, RIA - FCT NOVA: "Other Funding Opportunities in Blue Biotechnology"
Marta Cerejo, RIA - FCT NOVA: "The Nagoya Protocol: Implications for R&D Using Genetic Resources"
Pedro Viana Baptista, UCIBIO: "The Role and Relevance of Blue Biotechnology for UCIBIO"
Nuno Coelho, A4F – Algae for Future: "A4F Algae for Future - from R&D to Commercial Industrialization. The Algatec Eco Business Park"
Cristiana Torres, Bioeng-pt Lab, UCIBIO: "Bio Products from Marine Environments"
Inês Moreira, Biomolecular Engineering Lab, UCIBIO: "Fish Gelatin Hybrid Films for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds"
Pedro Lima, Sea4Us: "Marine Molecules as “Outside the Box” Chemistry for the Treatment of an Unmet Clinical Need"
Ricardo Calado, BlueBioAlliance: "Blue Biotechnology and Blue Economy- Realizing the Potential of Portugal"
Filipa Grosso, BACT_DRUGS, UCIBIO: "BacT-Drugs Lab Capacity to Turn Blue"
Susana P. Gaudêncio, BLUEBIOTECH&BIOMEDLAB, UCIBIO: "ACTINOBACTERIA: Ocean Treasures for Drug Discovery and Biotechnological Applications"
Pedro M. Costa, SEATOX LAB, UCIBIO: "Marine Biotech and Drug Discovery: Tools to Find and Characterize Novel Animal Toxins"
Mário Diniz, BIOTOX LAB, UCIBIO: "Alga 4 Food - an Added Value in Gastronomy"
Degustation of Algae Products (Alga 4 Food Project)