Australian research consortium to fast-track the country's marine bio-industries

The Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre (MB-CRC) will work to fast-track the growth of Australia’s marine bio-industries to meet the growing global demand for plant-based proteins, nutraceuticals, omega-3 oils, cosmetics, agrochemicals, bioplastics, and more.

A new $270 million research and development program in Australia called The Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre (MB-CRC) will work to fast-track the growth of Australia’s marine bio-industries to meet the growing global demand for certified, safe, and sustainable products: plant-based proteins, nutraceuticals, omega-3 oils, cosmetics, agrochemicals, bioplastics, and more. A consortium of 68 partners led by Flinders University, MB-CRC is backed by the Government of South Australia and the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of Primary Industry and Regions SA (PIRSA)

“As the Australian marine bioproducts industry heads for $1 billion turnover a year by 2030, this new national industry-driven research and development collaboration platform is set to position Australia at the cutting-edge of this burgeoning industry,” says MB-CRC chair John Gunn, in a press release.

Rich with marine resources, Australia is well-positioned to lead this industry. For example, Southern Australia has more than 1,400 species of seaweed and up to 60% of these species are found only in South Australian waters. Consequently, firms like Marinova (Tasmania, Australia) have announced their participation in MB-CRC. Marinova manufactures Maritech fucoidan, a marine polysaccharide found naturally in brown seaweed.

“Marinova is proud to be a part of this innovative consortium of industry, government and academic partners,” said CEO and managing director of Marinova, Paul Garrott, in a press release. “Australia is increasingly being recognized as a world leader in the research and manufacture of high value marine bioproducts. The collaborations that will result from the MB-CRC will drive innovative new research projects and further enhance this country’s global reputation. We look forward to working alongside partners who not only share our passion for improved health outcomes but also our vision for an expansive - and sustainable - marine bioproducts sector in Australia. The future opportunities for superior algal-derived products here are huge.

“Marinova’s involvement in the MB-CRC will fast-track a number of very significant research projects that we have planned for our unique fucoidan extracts,” Garrott continued. “Maritech fucoidan is the world’s only high purity, certified organic fucoidan with global regulatory acceptance. We expect enormous commercial opportunities to emerge from expanding our research program, particularly in the areas of immune modulation, viral inhibition, gut & digestive health, anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and anti-aging.”