JPI Oceans has participated in the Blue Bioeconomy ERA-NET Cofund (BlueBio) as a strategic partner since its inception. The main activity of BlueBio has been joint calls, funding 19 projects through a first call cofunded by the European Commission,10 projects in the 1st Additional Call, 7 in the 2nd Additional Call and 13 in the 3rd Additional Call, BlueBio hopes to support the blue bioeconomy in Europe even further while strengthening synergies and developing a wider community within the European blue bioeconomy sector.
In its second half, the ERA-NET is working on finding synergies between its projects, supporting them in their journey towards commercialisation and finding the best ways in ensuring Human Capacity Building in the blue bioeconomy.
The goal is to identify new and improve existing ways of bringing bio-based products and services to the market and find new ways of creating value from in the blue bioeconomy.
The BlueBio COFUND addresses gaps such as:
- developing innovative uses of underutilised and waste material from fisheries and aquaculture to achieve zero waste;
- using biotechnology and ICT to develop smart, efficient, traceable food systems and create synergies between aquaculture and fisheries (genetic assessment and digitalisation);
- unlock the potential of microbiomes to support growth in aquaculture, fisheries, and food processing and biotechnology; apply the latest developments in ICT (IoT, machine learning, big data) to the Blue Bioeconomy;
- creating predictive tools to improve the identification and targeting of biodiversity “hot-spots” in the oceans (omics based technologies);
- exploring synergies with land-based production in areas such as food and feed production and processing, biorefining, bioenergy, biomaterials, chemicals and nutrients and maximise the use of aquatic bioresources in terrestrial value chains;
- improving aquaculture and wild harvesting of stocks by support for the creation of innovative feeds, improved brood stocks, by introducing new species, defining stock baselines, and assessing stocks and by encouraging the adoption of novel production technologies.
- Create, test, upscale and bring to the market new knowledge-intensive products and services derived from aquatic biomass. Especially through funding projects (currently 36 projects funded).
- Provide consumers and policy makers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions by disseminating results from projects and workshops.
- Increase efficient and sustainable use of by-products by funding projects focusing on circularity.
- Contribute to improving the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue bioeconomy, by offering training courses and knowledge exchanges within and outside BlueBio.
- Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology in the blue bioeconomy by furthering the conversation with workshops and a foresight.
Aquatic biomass (both wild and cultured) from the seas and oceans, rivers and lakes, has a large potential to ensure future food, feed and nutrition security. It is also recognised as a source of raw materials for use in value chains for high value, products and processes, such as pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, bioprocessing, chemicals, novel materials and cosmetics while factoring in environment and climate change risks. In many cases, the utilisation of aquatic bioresources can be more sustainable than terrestrial production methods. Developing a blue bioeconomy in Europe will create jobs, promote economic growth, and contribute to a more healthy and sustainable society. Advancements in blue bioeconomy research and innovation uptake will allow Europe to open new and diversified markets in food and bio-based products, while improve the management of its renewable biological resources.