Blue biotechnology

Our oceans produce a wide range of natural products. Currently, roughly 18,000 natural products are derived from the marine environment, and even more are waiting to be discovered. The applications of blue biotechnology are universal: from human health to aquaculture and even biofuels. Blue biotechnology research at Ghent University focusses on developing new biotechnological applications relevant for the wide and diverse blue sector.

Europe is setting course for a resource-efficient and sustainable economy. The goal is to develop a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agro-aquaculture and fisheries, food security and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection.

Marine life has adapted to thrive in the extreme ambient conditions found in the sea. Blue biotechnology is concerned with the exploration and exploitation of the diverse marine organisms in order to develop new products. For example, the exploration of marine biodiversity helps us understand how organisms that can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures and grow without light, can be used to develop new industrial enzymes or pharmaceuticals. At the same time, concerns about land use impacts and increased water requirements of crops on land are driving efforts to explore the use of algae as a source of biofuels, along with high value-added chemicals and bioactive compounds. Accelerating this process will require a combination of basic research on ocean life and applied research on potential industrial applications with low probability but high rewards for success.

We provide knowledge and expertise on topics like:

  • Marine genetic resources and ecology discovery
  • Exploration of Marine Extreme Systems
  • Molecular biology
  • Physiology
  • Process technology
  • Process engineering
  • (Waste) Water technology
  • Cell Biology and General Histology
  • Bioremediation (bio)technology
  • Renewable Resource Technology

Discover the Marine@UGent Research Community