Emerging technologies

OECD Global Forum on Biotechnology: Marine Biotechnology – Themes discussed


Global Forum on Biotechnology: Marine Biotechnology Enabling Soultions for Ocean Productivity and Sustainability 
event to be held in Vancouver, Canada
30-31 May 2012 


Themes discussed

Productivity and sustainability of the ocean

This session discussed the potential contributions of oceans to economic prosperity on a global level and to the maintenance or improvement (sustainability) of the planet’s ecosystem.  It highlighted the global potential of the oceans as enabled through biotechnology as developed in the last decade, and considered sustainability of marine ecosystems now, the last century and 100 years from now.  It also dentified some of the challenges to realising this potential (i.e. sustainability and barriers to translation of science and technology for global benefit).


Development of infrastructures to realise the potential of marine biotechnology

This session discussed the knowledge-based, scientific and technological infrastructure required to reap the benefits of marine biotechnology. The Human Genome Project was used to focus considerable investment and infrastructure development.  In other fields, large national or international projects have been used to focus financial and political attention to develop significant infrastructure which has proven critical for enabling progress in particular fields.  Questions: What ‘human genome’ type of project would drive development of necessary infrastructure and investment in the field?  What would this infrastructure look like? 


Knowledge mobilisation: Sharing knowledge for global benefit

This session looked at how scientific and technical knowledge may be mobilized to advance the field of marine biotechnology. In the face of the recent economic crisis, maximising return on investment, and the impact of investments is more important than ever.  How can investments in marine biotechnology be harmonised to reduce duplication of resources and maximize knowledge production?  What standards might be required to share data nationally and internationally?  What collaborative models and types of initiatives might facilitate knowledge sharing? What will ‘open innovation’ look like in this field? Finally, how can developed countries share scientific advances and technologies with less developed countries?  How can we ensure equitable access and benefit sharing of this shared resource.  


Marine biotechnology and the bioeconomy / Deriving value from marine biotechnology

This session considered the role of marine biotechnology in deriving benefit from oceans?  How can marine biotechnology contribute to the bioeconomy?  How do we quantify this impact? What are the (regional & national) economic opportunities afforded by associated science and technology?


Realising the promise of marine biotechnology — ‘Benefit for the people’

This session discussed ways that marine biotechnology is contributing to economic development on a global level. Considering the economic and social benefits which may be realised from marine biotechnology.  Focussing on the potential for marine biotechnology to provide solutions to the grand challenges of population health, food and fuel security in both developed and developing countries. Considering in particular, benefits made possible by advances in genomics and related sciences and technologies.  The meeting also discussed the use of these technologies in bioprospecting—looking at the opportunities and challenges it may bring.


The intersection between science, industry and society — Enabling the global promise of marine biotechnology

This session looked at opportunities and challenges posed by industry and society to advancement of marine biotechnology.  How can closer interaction with industry help translate advances in science and technology?  What is the right balance between industry ‘pull’ and scientific ‘push’ to enable innovations in marine biotechnology?  How can public engagement help or hinder the field?  How can social science enable development of the field of marine biotechnology and contribute to benefit for people and planet?