Network for Blue Biotech


Faro - Recent advances in the field of genomics have opened up many exciting avenues of research. Marine biology, however, has largely been excluded from the so called “genomics revolution”. Until now: On May 11, during the EUROCEAN 2004 event in Galway, Ireland, details were presented of a Network of Excellence (NoE), newly established with funding from the Commission that aims to introduce the genomic approaches and technologies developed in other fields to the marine sciences.
One of the partners in the “Marine Genomics” NoE is Professor Adelino Canario, director of the Algarve centre of marine sciences at the University of Algarve in Portugal. “The aim of the Network is to integrate approaches throughout Europe,” he explained. “One example will be the development of high-throughput gene sequencing techniques for the study of marine biology.” This element of the project seeks to provide research centres throughout Europe with enabling technologies designed to identify the gene functions of a wide range of marine life.
“A further aspect of our work will be to provide marine researchers with access to technology platforms, comprising experimental equipment and databases that integrate the produced data. This is made possible through the participation in the NoE of a number of large research centres in countries like Germany, France and the UK,” said Professor Canario.
Indeed, the network as a whole brings together 44 institutes of varying size from 16 European countries, which ensures the involvement of some 300 researchers in total. In order to make this possible, the European Commission has invested Euro10 million in the scheme, under the “Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems” priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
In addition to the scientific and technological elements of the project, emphasis will also be placed on the transfer of know-ledge to the wider research community through Europe.
In his own country, Portugal, Professor Canario hopes to encourage research centres and teams not involved in the network to adopt the technologies and approaches that will be developed, as for many of them it will be the first time they have used such techniques.



Lisbon – Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are gaining ground in southwestern Europe. According to the European Association for Bioindustries (EuropaBio), Portuguese farmers planted nearly 60% more genetically modified maize...



Lisbon – In the southwest of Europe, GMOs are gaining ground. According to the European Association for BioIndustries EuropaBio, Portuguese farmers have grown nearly 60% more genetically modified (GM) maize this year compared to...



Lisbon – According to a report published by business intelligence provider Espicom, the future for biopharma on the westernmost tip of Europe looks anything but sunny. Its analysts predict that by 2016, the pharmaceuticals market...



Lisbon – Portugal’s “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia” (FCT) is to channel funding into collaborations between Portuguese and Indian life science companies and research within the networking pilot programme “New Indigo”...



Coimbra/San Francisco/Munster – Portuguese and US researchers have discovered a new factor that determines whether an embryonic stem cell (ESC) will remain pluripotent or not. After the team under Miguel and Joao Ramalho-Santos...



Madrid –The Spanish Ministry of Health is investing in future biotech treatments. In July, it signed a EUR60m contract over a recombinantly manufactured flu vaccine developed by Rockville-based Novavax. In Phase II trials, the...


Lisbon/New York - A Portuguese-US research team has discovered a new molecular mechanism that enables gamma herpes viruses to chronically infect patients. Gamma herpes viruses infect white blood cells (B- or T-lymphocytes)...



Lisbon – Portugal’s Bial SA has granted American company Sepracor the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise eslicarbazepine in the United States and Canada. Bial will receive US$57m up front.

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