The European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster: An Alliance of European Research Infrastructures to Promote the Blue Bioeconomy
Marine biotechnology is the key to harness the huge economic potential of the unique biodiversity of marine organisms. This potential remains largely underexploited due to three major issues: (1) lack of connectivity between research services, (2) practical and cultural difficulties in connecting science with industry and (3) uneven regional development and innovation policies throughout Europe. The European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) is a distributed Research Infrastructure (RI) with facilities located in renowned marine biological stations and institutes across Europe. On its way to become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium, EMBRC will be the reference RI for marine biology and ecology research. Yet, EMBRC recognizes the necessity to interface with other RIs to enable specialized workflow services in, e.g. chemical biology, bioinformatics and social sciences. The European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster (EMBRIC, INFRA DEV 4 2014–2015) was designed to connect EMBRC with cognate RI, i.e. MIRRI, EU-OPENSCREEN, ELIXIR and AQUAEXCEL. The cluster combines the RIs services into discovery pipelines through which academic and private research users can run their projects. EMBRIC also relies on the Integrating Activity of RISIS to analyse regional innovation ecosystems in marine biology and ecology and to develop a methodology to measure the impact of the project. The EMBRIC alliance provides workflows on a variety of marine bioresources, a strategy that will boost EMBRC expert centres into regional innovation clusters. This will reconcile the need for marrying scientific and technological excellence with territorial development, resulting in the promotion of the blue bioeconomy.
KeywordsResearch Infrastructures Marine biotechnology Bioeconomy Marine bioresources Scientific park Regions
The EMBRIC project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 654008.
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