Marine Microbiome - a great success!

The worlds of science and industry gathered in Berlin last week to discuss the untapped biotechnological potential of the ocean’s microorganisms at the ‘Marine Microbiome – Discovery & Innovation’ conference held in in Berlin-Adlershof, Germany’s leading science and technology park, from 27-30 June 2016.

Hosted by the MaCuMBA project, this joint industry conference and open science meeting gathered experts from across the world to discuss how novel research discoveries in the field of marine biotechnology can greatly improve Europe’s capacity to generate new commercial opportunities. The event consisted of a one-day Industry Conference followed by a two-day Open Science Meeting. Most attendees participated in both events taking advantage of the excellent opportunity for industry and science stakeholders to exchange experiences and generate new ideas to bring this important area forward.

The Marine Microbiome represented the culmination of four year’s work of the EC FP7-funded MaCuMBA project. MaCuMBA is an EU-funded project that focuses on increasing the rate of isolation of marine microorganisms using novel high throughput techniques for improved isolation efficiency and cultivation of marine microorganisms and screening for bioactive compounds and biotechnological applications.

Featuring a jam-packed programme the event brought together more than 30 high-level experts and over 120 attendees from all over the world including numerous European countries, USA, South Africa and Ecuador. The conference activities assumed a variety of formats including round table and moderated panel discussions; an interactive industry exhibition; one-to-one meetings; a plenary programme with key figures from the sector presenting the latest trends and main issues; and relaxed informal networking opportunities. All of these were designed with the key goal of providing a platform for research and industry alike to diversify their cross-sectorial knowledge, strengthen their existing partnerships and build new opportunities.

The exhibition in particular showcased key outputs and ‘hardware’ of the MaCuMBA project that have high potential industrial relevance, and are prime candidates for practical commercial development and applications. Researchers were on hand to demonstrate and explain how the European marine biotech industry could benefit from the latest research results in the area.
In addition to the numerous contributed talks, poster presentations, and discussions of results so far, several interactive round tables were organised, which provided a more intimate and focused atmosphere for researchers to discuss in greater depth the most important issues currently facing them.

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