The Global Market for Marine Biotechnology: The Underwater World of Marine Biotech Firms

  • Gaia Raffaella GrecoEmail author
  • Marco Cinquegrani
Part of the Grand Challenges in Biology and Biotechnology book series (GCBB)


Despite the increasing attention that political and institutional spheres are paying to marine biotechnology at a regional, national, and international level, also considering the Blue Growth Strategy in Horizon 2020, the general knowledge about private organizations of this field remains relatively poor. Actually, just a few studies offer an exhaustive picture of the companies developing products and services of both marine and freshwater origin. The authors wish to present an up-to-date analysis of the scientific and institutional literature concerned with the issue. They shall try to define blue biotechnology, and they will present the main markets served and their dynamics. In particular, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, energy, and biochemical industries will be closely considered. Marine industrial sectors, actually, did not follow the same process of growth and show different levels of development. The aim of this chapter is to present the characteristics of the firms involved in blue biotechnology, describing both products and services that reach the final markets and highlighting the ones that are still at a development stage. The authors carried out a first investigation of the organizations belonging to the marine industries through the construction of an original dataset of companies. They analyzed geographical distribution, dimension, main markets served, and production activities of the firms in object. In the conclusions, the authors highlight the central role played by public research centers, the need for cooperation for blue biotechnology organizations in order to reach the final consumer, and the interdependence of research and development phases among the several businesses in which marine biotechnologies find industrial application.



The authors wish to thank the Flagship Program “Ritmare” for the financial support. The work is in fact an output of the activity on technology transfer of the project (SP6_WP4_AZ1).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.General Services, Stazione Zoologica Anton DohrnNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Calcolo e Reti ad Alte Prestazioni, Consiglio Nazionale delle ricercheNaplesItaly

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