BaMS symposium highlights growth opportunities for sustainable bio-based economy
First symposium "Blue Bioeconomy in Northern Germany" at Kiel University took place with around 80 participants from science, industry, politics and associations.
On March 3rd and 4th, 2020 around 80 experts from science, industry, politics and associations met at the invitation of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU) and the newly founded association "Bioökonomie auf Marinen Standorten e.V." to exchange information about new processes and projects for the growth area of the bio-based and sustainable blue economy. Under the catchphrase “Blue Bioeconomy”, in future aquatic circular economies and new processes based on natural resources from the sea such as algae, fish or mussels are to be developed that rely on renewable marine raw materials and thus support social change towards more sustainability and climate neutrality. For this, nutrients from surface and coastal waters are used as well as from industry and agriculture. Biological raw materials from the sea can be used in medicine, cosmetics, the food and feed industries, but are also increasingly found in everyday objects and products.
The aim of the first Kiel symposium on the blue bioeconomy is to identify suitable model locations for larger networks, to get industrial partners on board and to discuss new research projects. “The northern German federal states, especially Schleswig-Holstein, have great potential to play a key role in the area of the blue bioeconomy. Both in research and on the corporate side, there is nationwide unique know-how, for example for the production of algae or the production of alternative animal feed in aquaculture, which can be exploited further. We want to bring interested people, researchers and economists from different fields together and initiate new research and development projects, said Carsten Schulz, one of the organizers of the symposium, professor of marine aquaculture at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences (AEF) and member of the Steering group in the Kiel Marine Science (KMS) research focus.
About a year ago, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) approved the "Bioeconomy on Marine Sites" (BaMS) project, which was funded with up to 20 million euros and coordinated by Kiel University. In the meantime, eight joint projects have already started in BaMS and are concerned, for example, with the optimization of keeping conditions for fish in aquaculture facilities or with the sustainable use of regionally produced algae for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. This is particularly about skin whitening for the Asian market. Through close cooperation with companies, the research results in individual projects are also translated into products for the cosmetics market. These include, for example, mussel paste as a spread or pesto made from algae. It is also planned to carbonize the feces of the fish into biochar. Other partners are testing how fish feed can be made from algae mash or how new water purification systems can be developed using microalgae.
In autumn 2020, new consortia are to follow, which will be funded as part of the BMBF project "Bioeconomy on marine sites". Sketches can be submitted until the end of May 2020. The new projects should then start in spring 2021. “Our main concern is to promote synergies between companies and experts in such a way that holistic and at the same time sustainable systems are created that are also rooted in a region. The symposium is therefore also the starting signal for a new network of interested parties from all areas of the blue bioeconomy, summarized Dr. Stefan Meyer, coordinator of the project "Bioeconomy on marine sites" at the University of Kiel together the goal of the North German industry meeting.
The two-day symposium started with a general meeting of the non-profit association "Bioökonomie auf Marinen Standorten e.V.", which was founded in September 2019 and is responsible for handling the projects and supporting cooperation. Project partners then presented the eight joint projects in BaMS. The second day was followed by keynote speeches and workshops to better network the actors. The participants were greeted by Dr. Dietmar Walter from the Department for Sustainable Management and Bioeconomy at the Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) in Berlin. Minister of Education Anja Karliczek recently presented the federal bioeconomy strategy, highlighting the special importance of the blue bioeconomy, of bio-based processes from marine products such as algae or mussels. Germany aims to become the leading location in the sustainable bioeconomy and make a relevant contribution to achieving the sustainability goals of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda.
The project "Bioeconomy on Marine Sites (BaMS)" is coordinated by the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) over a period of five years with up to 20 million euros. The aim is to develop an innovation area in northern Germany for the blue bioeconomy, in which new processes are implemented and sustainable concepts for a comprehensive circular economy are promoted, which include marine biological resources such as fish, mussels or algae. The “Bioeconomy on Marine Locations” project also strengthens the Kiel Marine Science (KMS) university research focus at Kiel University. Kiel Marine Science (KMS) forms the umbrella for natural and social science ocean and climate research at seven faculties and promotes interdisciplinary discussion of marine science topics. www.kms.uni-kiel.de
Picture copyright: Dr. Doreen Saggau, AEF