A New Network for the Advancement of Marine Biotechnology in Europe and Beyond

Ana Rotter, Ariola Bacu, Michèle Barbier, Francesco Bertoni, Atle M. Bones, M. Leonor Cancela, Jens Carlsson, Maria F. Carvalho, Marta Cegłowska, Meltem Conk Dalay, Thanos Dailianis, Irem Deniz, Dragana Drakulovic, Arita Dubnika, Hjörleifur Einarsson, Ayşegül Erdoğan, Orhan Tufan Eroldoğan, David Ezra, Stefano Fazi, Richard J. FitzGeraldLaura M. Gargan, Susana P. Gaudêncio, Nadica Ivošević DeNardis, Danijela Joksimovic, Marija Kataržytė, Jonne Kotta, Manolis Mandalakis, Inga Matijošytė, Hanna Mazur-Marzec, Alexia Massa-Gallucci, Mohamed Mehiri, Søren Laurentius Nielsen, Lucie Novoveská, Donata Overlingė, Michelle Portman, Krzysztof Pyrc, Céline Rebours, Thorsten Reinsch, Fernando Reyes, Baruch Rinkevich, Johan Robbens, Vita Rudovica, Jerica Sabotič, Ivo Safarik, Siret Talve, Deniz Tasdemir, Xenia Theodotou Schneider, Olivier P. Thomas, Anna Toruńska-Sitarz, Giovanna Cristina Varese, Marlen I. Vasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marine organisms produce a vast diversity of metabolites with biological activities useful for humans, e.g., cytotoxic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, insecticidal, herbicidal, anticancer, pro-osteogenic and pro-regenerative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, cholesterol-lowering, nutritional, photoprotective, horticultural or other beneficial properties. These metabolites could help satisfy the increasing demand for alternative sources of nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food, feed, and novel bio-based products. In addition, marine biomass itself can serve as the source material for the production of various bulk commodities (e.g., biofuels, bioplastics, biomaterials). The sustainable exploitation of marine bio-resources and the development of biomolecules and polymers are also known as the growing field of marine biotechnology. Up to now, over 35,000 natural products have been characterized from marine organisms, but many more are yet to be uncovered, as the vast diversity of biota in the marine systems remains largely unexplored. Since marine biotechnology is still in its infancy, there is a need to create effective, operational, inclusive, sustainable, transnational and transdisciplinary networks with a serious and ambitious commitment for knowledge transfer, training provision, dissemination of best practices and identification of the emerging technological trends through science communication activities. A collaborative (net)work is today compelling to provide innovative solutions and products that can be commercialized to contribute to the circular bioeconomy. This perspective article highlights the importance of establishing such collaborative frameworks using the example of Ocean4Biotech, an Action within the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) that connects all and any stakeholders with an interest in marine biotechnology in Europe and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Article number278
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
StatePublished - 12 May 2020


  • blue growth
  • marine biodiversity and chemodiversity
  • marine biotechnology
  • marine natural products
  • responsible research and innovation
  • science communication
  • stakeholder engagement
  • sustainability

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Global and Planetary Change


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