Centre for the study and sustainable exploitation of
Marine Biological Resources (CMBR)

CMBR is an integrative large-scale facility for Blue Growth supporting access to, and the study & sustainable exploitation of, marine biological resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. With terrestrial resources approaching their physical limits, the sea is increasingly being considered as a last resort for a number of vital resources ranging from food, health,
biomass, energy and minerals, to planet equilibrium. The sea has always been a vast resource for food, materials and services, but its tremendous potential for new biotechnological products and for the sustainable use of open-sea products and industrial applications has been largely untapped. Old practices have reached a plateau and there is an urgent
need for the integration of key scientific and technological breakthroughs in order to make full use of the wealth provided by the marine world.
Among the main goals of CMBR is the development of biotechnological applications for the production of bioactive compounds (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, enzymes, etc), mainly by exploiting the as-yet-largely-unexploited biodiversity of microorganisms, especially those living in extreme marine environments. The development of an innovative multiuse
offshore sea platform, with aquaculture being the core activity but also including applications related to renewable energy, is a central part of the infrastructure. Other important components of CMBR refer to the upgrading and expansion of a mesocosm infrastructure, an underwater biotechnological park, biofermentation facilities, new generation facilities for the collection and analysis of molecular information and -omics technologies, an energy-efficient computing centre, and new modern aquaculture facilities, including those dedicated to behaviour, physiology, biological quality, algal culture for bioremediation, and the isolation of substances.

CMBR builds upon the participation of HCMR teams in pan-European infrastructures and networks, such as ESFRI (EMBRC, LIFEWATCH) and I3 (MESOAQUA, AQUAEXCEL), as well as on the coordination of the national Greek node of LIFEWATCH (HelBioNet).

The CMBR infrastructure, based on the world-class facilities of high-calibre research institutes on the island of Crete and elsewhere in Greece (Athens – Lesbos island) , aims to become an internationally competitive infrastructure for the efficient and sustainable exploitation of the huge potential of the marine world. Through a combination of a complementary
array of modern and advanced approaches, CMBR will offer expertise in marine biology and aquaculture, will provide access to marine organisms and ecosystems, and will make large-scale marine infrastructures available to research and industrial users in Greece and abroad.

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