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

Jun 12

June’s editorial


The future favors the bold! It is time for each of us to take action in order to change attitudes and prepare our society for future challenges. What will be the levers of this new deal? Space and Oceans.

Serenity has been working on the Red Planet for the past few months, revealing these great Martian landscapes, sending much data to analyze, and we finally begin to consider outer-space development with future generations setting out to conquer new territories and habitats necessary for the human race. This future is already programed in the plans of international collaborations and will require mustering scientific, economic and above all political means.

Meanwhile on our blue planet, we become aware of the major interest of the oceans and its incredible marine resources. We must quickly develop a real strategy for our oceans: combining conservation and economic development; harmonizing realistic fisheries policies with the optimization of aquaculture; facilitating the intensification of marine renewable energy; and setting up an algae industry, coupled with increased research on micro algae for energy, nutritional, and pharmaceutical purposes.

Certainly, we live a great time full of opportunities! Unfortunately, the past generations have made us become accustomed to living at the expense of exhaustible natural resources, which our planet had accumulated over four billion years prior to the arrival of humans and industrial development. It is clear that we have overestimated the potential. While the media apostles in favour of ocean conservation offer delusionary and retrograde solutions based on coercion and dictated environmentalist policies (thus leading to economic decline), our researchers and investors are building and developing tomorrow’s society which will be based on the sustainable management of our bio- resources, recycling techniques, and the creation of innovative value.

No, we are not in the Titanic syndrome , and this blue growth has indeed become a creative reality of wealth and employment …
Our planet will soon house more than nine billion people, and thus we must work in good cooperation with industries, investors, scientists, and civil society to implement appropriate solutions that will feed the world, provide a supply renewable energy, and develop the tools that will effectively reduce pollution and environmental stresses. Policies seeking to enhance the use of marine bio- resources while promoting the economic development of local populations are rapidly spreading around the world and emerging countries are heavily engaged in the development of these sectors. Countries like Mozambique are currently developing their aquaculture sector by balancing the latest technologies, with regulatory and environmental constraints so as to ensure a model for the sustainable development of their industry. International collaborations are multiplying. Norway for instance is deploying considerable resources to ensure opportunities for both its aquaculture and biomarine sectors. Micro algae as a replacement for plant protein is also becoming an axis of rapid development supported by many research programs in Canada, Norway, and China. The development of offshore aquaculture in areas near wind power development zones can develop synergies particularly in terms of services and maintenance. These exclusion zones become de facto development areas perfectly suited for offshore aquaculture. The complex problem of “by catches” in industrial fishing opens new opportunities in the use of these hauls as a source of protein for the development of the aquaculture sector.
176 Billion Dollars! This represents the value of the annual market for marine bio resources. Poorly known to the general public, and often concealed by the organizations of traditional biomarine industries, this new market is poised to become the engine of global growth.

What is this Biomarine industry and how will it look by 2020 ?
1 . Marine biotechs represent 8% of the market for biotechs and will account for 15 % in 2020
2 . Marine-derived bioplastics represent less than 1 % of biomaterials and should represent more than 10 % of the market by 2020
3 . Marine bioenergy represents 1.5% of the energy market and will represent more than 3% by 2020
4 . Aquaculture produces 12% of the global market for protein. This figure will be in excess of 35 % by 2020.
5 . Blue chemistry represents only 6 % of the global market and should be at 15% by 2020
6 . Marine cosmetics occupy 13% of the cosmetic market and this will increase to more than 30 % by 2020
7 . The nutraceuticals – of marine origin – is itself already 32% of the global market and is expected to continue its growth beyond 50 % by 2020
8 . Marine ingredients in all their forms represent 38% natural ingredients. They will exceed 55% by 2020.

This world of marine bioresources is a complex mosaic, with diffuse contours incorporating various industries and innovation. Although I have often stressed during our conventions on the apparent disparity of our activities, their transversal nature offers a world of better opportunities and common synergies. Marine ingredients in all their forms are the heart of our industries. All markets derivatives including aquaculture, human and animal nutrition, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, pharma, biotech, cleantech, bio-energy , and the environment, are growing rapidly thanks to the development of biomarine resources and primary ingredients.

By structuring our marine bioresources sector in a transversal approach, we create gateways for basic research, the development of international collaborations, as well as numerous business opportunities. For example, seaweed producers become key players in the development of aquaculture in search of the protein. “Fishmeal ” substitutes thus contribute to the development of nutraceuticals sector by providing vegetable fat acids. More sophisticated extractions such as carotenoids and collagen are all of interest to the cosmetics industry, and metabolites and enzymes of certain algae are the delight of some biotechnology companies at the forefront of the blue chemistry. Finally, the algae will soon offer an interesting alternative to second generation biofuels, which often compete with agricultural production necessary for livestock and human consumption … Thanks to genomics, marine bioresources live a technological and conceptual revolution. Often ahead of its time, our research should increase its effort to communicate to the general public so that many psychological barriers fall.

Since October 2008, when we launched BioMarine under the French Presidency of the European Council, the projects related to biomarine have blossomed internationally. We are witnessing a true “Blue Rush “! All this lends credence to the cause of economic development of our industry. During the last five years, we have built and developed a BioMarine community of more than 250,000 professionals in more than 52 countries, working in more than 33 different disciplines. This BioMarine community includes many entrepreneurs, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, representatives of non- governmental organizations, politicians, and journalists. To create a real productive synergy that can propose, develop, and accelerate decisions in our business, we launched in 2013 – under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco – the BioMarine International Clusters Association ( BICA). In 2014, the 20 clusters, research organizations, and government agencies will meet to provide our industry with a real governance and means for the development of collaborative projects, access to finance for SMEs in each cluster, and project leaders from the universities.

This year 2014 will be supporting many biomarine projects. Portugal will host the 5th edition of our BioMarine Business Convention in Cascais the 30th and 31st of October 2014, embarked on an ambitious development plan for the use and optimization of its marine resources. 350 business leaders, two heads of state, many government officials, and the European Commission will participate in discussions and exchanges. The first meeting of BICA will be held during the convention, and Portugal will announce the launch of its biomarine cluster at that time.

And what about France on the international Biomarine scene? Despite recognized scientific skills and top research organizations, the biomarine sector is still not taking off. Irreversible? Maybe not… We must engage with our entrepreneurs to go abroad and fully cooperate with the industrialized countries already working in the area. The acceleration of technology transfers between applied research and the creation of business is still a difficult or laborious step in the land of Descartes. If we want to enjoy the blue growth, it is time to cast off and sail full sail …

Pierre Erwes
Founder and Chairman BioMarine©
Founder and Chairman BioMarine International Clusters Association (BICA)