8th BioMarine International Business Convention
1-3 oct 2017, Rimouski Qc, Canada View Location

Apr 14

Aquitaine: the next leading blue region of France?


People’s main activity at BioMarine – besides conducting business, closing deals, and making investment discussions – is scouting. Portugal has opened a new innovative approach to the blue growth by using Biomarine as a catalyst and an international platform to present its strategy. Building blue relationships between countries, establishing partnerships and singing MoUs is normal business at BioMarine. Right after the previous BioMarine edition, Norway and Portugal have entered a blue partnership which will be sealed upon May 3rd by the signature of an official MoU and an official Presidential visit with which BioMarine will be associated.

No wonder why Alain Rousset, the President of the Aquitaine region, was attending the last BioMarine convention in Cascais, Portugal. When your region becomes the largest physical territory in France, you must carefully plan ahead and decide how to prioritize different tasks. The blue growth is definitively on the top of it.

With abundant natural raw material based on agro forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and algae, Aquitaine stands a good chance in becoming the next leader of the French blue revolution. Far from Paris where politicians always think about job creation and innovation, Alain Rousset has stepped forward to carry the blue flag. His administration is very active. Consulting with industry, investors and applied research, they prepared their blue strategy in a very Anglo-Saxon approach. How can they attract investment to develop marine biotechnology based on aquaculture and upstream/downstream algae culture? Everything makes sense in Aquitaine:

Historical birth place of the oyster aquaculture, the south west has a unique expertise in mollusks. The fishery industry is also one of the important economic sectors and there is a world of opportunities with regards to the optimization of by catches and fish byproducts utilization. With a strong expertise in biotechnology and a unique academic framework, the Aquitaine region must grasp this unique blue opportunity. The most promising sector will come from seaweed and micro algae.

In a very beautiful place called Libourne, a company called Fermentalg – run by the visionary entrepreneur Pierre Calleja – is leading the French blue revolution. Micro-algae is being used for feed, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and also for biomaterials such as bioplastics. The fast growing company has understood that this revolution is global and soon the company will set foot in North Carolina to access the US market which is in high demand for alternative protein.

I could not imagine, back in 1986 when I finished my master of oceanography at the University of Bordeaux, that Aquitaine would take this blue direction. BioMarine is not only a business place: it has definitely become the international lab for public authorities to test and improve their blue vision. I am glad that BICA (BioMarine International Clusters Association) could help the international region to fast connect and help improving business opportunities. Under the chairmanship of HSH prince Albert II of Monaco, BICA aims to become the industry reference for marine bio resources. Light structure, minimum head costs, but efficient networking to foster development of partners and facilitate access to funding.

In this context, the next edition of BioMarine is a great importance. It will give you the keys to understand the US market and the potential of the biomarine industry. We are facing a major shortage of animal protein and the oceans will give us the key to unlock it. If we are to solve these issues, we should start to think proactively by starting to produce sustainable alternatives based on micro algae, seaweed and fish by products optimizations.

Join us around the globe as we will be present at:

– IFFO meeting in Miami from April 14th to 16th,
– Portuguese Presidential Visit to Norway (Oslo and Bergen) from May 2nd to 6th
– Oban, Scotland 1st BICA workshop on seaweed best practices May 14 and 16th
– Alltech annual conference in Lexington, Kentucky May 18th to 20th
– Monaco Blue Initiative June 26th

I look forward to welcoming you in Wilmington from October 14 to 15th.

Best in Blue