Exploitation and Legal Aspects on Marine Genetic and Chemical ResourcesInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: April 4, 2016
End Date: April 6, 2016
Venue: Naples (Italy)
Contact: Donatella de Pascale
E-mail: d.depascale [at] ibp.cnr.it
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2015 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €11,000
Funds Granted: €7,500

Manager(s): Donatella de Pascale
Co-organiser(s): Giovanna Romano, Conxita Avila, Deniz Tasdemir, Conxita Avila, Dina Simes

This foresight workshop will address the discovery and use of natural products derived from marine organisms to address human health challenges. Scientists from a variety of fields from ecology to chemistry will explore efficient methods to finding alternative therapies to modernise pharmacological therapy. The two day workshop will foster integration of current knowledge acquired by projects and fora at the European level which are looking into the legal and policy aspects related to access to Marine Genetic Resources in the framework of the Nagoya protocol. The workshop will aim at integrating recently acquired knowledge on the best practice for sustainable supply of raw material for industry, efficient production systems, legal aspects linked to access of marine resources, their sustainable use, access and benefit sharing, and aspects regarding environmental viability.

The main output will be a position paper describing possible future scenarios for sustainable access to marine genetic resources and their exploitation for human health, addressing some of the research priorities defined by the EU. Synergies between the different partners with varying scientific backgrounds and expertise may lead to future joint ventures and proposals with a multidisciplinary focus.

This will bring together co-ordinators and partners of the major FP7 projects with members of ERA-NET Marine Biotechnology action in order to strengthen the EU governance in the marine bio-discovery pipeline.

Presented talk during the LegGenChem workshop

This workshop focused on the exploitation of marine genetic and chemical resources, sustainable production of bioactive compounds from the sea, legal issues on marine resources exploitation and the preclinical testing of bioactive compounds for therapeutic applications. 58 participants from 11 European countries attended, with 28 speakers from 10 different EU countries focusing on exploring bioactive compounds from marine microbial sources as efficient alternative therapies to modern pharmacology. The meeting brought together scientists from a range of backgrounds in order to explore and foresee new scenarios in marine biotechnology, and create new collaborations and funding opportunities in the framework of Horizon 2020.

This initiative will provide possible future pathways for sustainable and effective exploitation of marine genetic resources for human health and well-being. The biological diversity of our Oceans is directly linked to the chemical diversity, and both must be protected in order to keep the environments, the species and the chemicals they contain.

A round table discussion was held for future perspectives and new projects.


  • A project proposal in the framework of the call Bio-Based Industries is underway, coordinated by Dr. Adrianna Ianora 
  • Part of the attendees are also participants in the H2020-MSCA-ITN-ETN: MarPipe
  • Writing underway of a review on the antibiotics isolated from the deep-sea
  • Discussions ongoing with EMBRC regarding assistance with the problem-solving of the legal issues derived from the Nagoya protocols

Update - January 2019

Two papers stemming partly from this workshop have now been published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and Marine Drugs:

  • Jaspars, M., De Pascale, D., Andersen, J.H., Reyes, F., Crawford, A.D. and Ianora, A., 2016. The marine biodiscovery pipeline and ocean medicines of tomorrow. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 96(1), pp.151-158. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315415002106
  • Tortorella, E., Tedesco, P., Palma Esposito, F., January, G., Fani, R., Jaspars, M. and de Pascale, D., 2018. Antibiotics from deep-sea microorganisms: Current discoveries and perspectives. Marine drugs, 16(10), p.355. DOI: 10.3390/md16100355