German institutions are strongly represented within the SUBMARINER network. The Federal Ministry of Environment was one of the initiators of the original SUBMARINER project. The Ministry of Economics and Technology of Schleswig-Holstein was in the following the founding partner and among the main supporters of the SUBMARINER Network.
Schleswig-Holstein, situated between the North- and Baltic Sea, is also the only ‘Land’ in Germany, which emphasises the blue bioeconomy within its regional innovation strategy (2014). Most potential is seen in the development of innovative and sustainable forms of aquaculture, systems development as well as the maritime biotechnology. For the latter it developed in 2012 the Masterplan Marine Biotechnology as part of the SUBMARINER project identifying 14 Research & Development Institutes and 26 SMEs in Schleswig-Holstein already active in this field by that time. With the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel (CAU), the University of Applied Science Kiel as well as the company OceanBasis the SUBMARINER network can count on some of the most important German players in the Blue Bioeconomy as its members.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the other Baltic Sea coastal land of Germany, focuses on maritime technologies but is also aware of marine bioresources as important building blocks in its bioeconomy sector. The BioCon Valley association for health economy and life science, a founding member of SUBMARINER, supports corporate activities in the fields of blue biotechnology, recirculating aquaculture systems and new forms of mariculture.
Blue biotechnologies are also part of a number of recently launched national bioeconomy initiatives; such as the PLANT3 project (subjects: "Land, Moor, Meer") and especially the 5 years long project BamS ("Bioökonomie auf marinen Standorten") that received more than 20 mio € of national funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The sector is therefore expected to experience a further upswing in the coming years.
It should, however, be noted, that despite numerous projects and already more than 100 companies being active in the field – as well as Germans forerunner role in the bioeconomy – and technology, the ‘blue’ elements is still not strongly represented in related national strategies such as the ‘National Bioeconomy Strategy’ or the ‘National Maritime Master plan’. Also in view of financial figures, the potential of the blue sector has not been fully exploited . With 25 mio € turnover in 2017 as opposed to 5 mio € in 2009, shellfish aquaculture has grown by 500% - but processing and retail figures have remained the same within the same period; freshwater aquaculture has even decreased and no figures could be reported at all for finfish marine aquaculture. Thus, a lot remains to be done in Germany in order to support the sector as to grow into a proper industry.