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Blue biotechnology

What is it?

Sponge biodiversity and morphotypes. By Twilight Zone Expedition Team 2007, NOAA-OE. (NOAA Photo Library: reef3859)

Marine life has adapted to thrive in the extreme ambient conditions found in the sea. Blue biotechnology is concerned with the exploration and exploitation of the resulting diverse marine organisms in order to develop new products.

Why EU-level action?

Exploration of the sea biodiversity could enable us to develop new pharmaceuticals or industrial enzymes that can withstand extreme conditions, and which consequently have high economic value. In the long term, it is expected that the sector will offer high-skilled employment and significant downstream opportunities.

We now have the underwater technology to explore the sea and undertake DNA sequencing to analyse its life. Concerted action from the EU at this early stage joins up the efforts of EU countries in order to provide critical mass and hence stimulate growth and facilitate access to competitive niche markets whilst avoiding risks to the marine environment.

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