The National Marine Biodiscovery Laboratory in Ireland (NMBLI) at the Marine Institute (Oranmore), aims to strengthen Ireland’s capacity as research leaders in marine biotechnology. This facility aims to develop economic growth and job creation through innovative knowledge-generating activities and collection of baseline data to support sustainable economic growth and job creation through the development of new products and services. In Ireland a number of marine clusters/networks have emerged in recent years, The NMBLI intends to support both national and international researchers from universities and industry seeking to explore, understand and efficiently utilise Irish marine bio-resources, as a component of the marine bio-economy and Blue Growth initiatives.
In supporting the sustainable growth of marine biomaterials economic activity in Irish waters, a Biomaterials Repository has been long recognized by Irish researchers in the field as fundamental to addressing their research and development needs. The marine Biomaterials Repository will be developed as part of the Laboratory. The repository comprises of infrastructure to provide access to samples and specialised marine data; for example, freeze-dried marine algae, invertebrate or sediment samples. It includes a database for tracking samples processed through bioassays performed, results and isolated bioactive molecules. The repository is an essential component to ensure marine biodiscovery from State resources are retained within the country for potential commercialisation.
The geographical locations of sources of valuable biological material along with details of taxonomic and chemical and bioactive data are essential factors required in such a repository, and recording such data in a robust database is a key requirement towards establishing a fully functional repository. This is of particular importance to the future development of blue growth opportunities in Ireland.
The project allows for the establishment of a coordinated network of researchers and industry working in the field who will avail of the repository. It also enables effective communication and collaboration mechanisms.
1. 2 periodic updates to the Marine Institute on the progress of the Implementation Plan.
2. National Marine Biomaterials Repository set up in the Marine Institute.
3. Lodgment of 50 new voucher specimens to repository database throughout 2020, to demonstrate the process.
4. Establish NMBLI as a part of the European Blue Biobank initiative.
5. A report on funding options for the continuity of the repository through non-exchequer options including EMFAF, and DAFM/DCCAE initiatives under the bioeconomy, and co-funding from industry.
6. Participate in a key event /or meeting of marine biodiscovery network.