Business2Sea 2020

The 10th edition of Business2Sea organized by CETMAR Foundation and Fórum Oceano was held from the 16th to 20th of November 2020 in virtual format. The European Blue Biobank (EBB) project contributed to this event with an awareness workshop entitled “Do not be a biopirate: the European Blue biobank can help you use marine genetic resources legally”. Belén Martín Míguez, EBB coordinator, animated the workshop and Dr. Ibon Cancio from UPV/EHU (Spain) gave a first clarifying talk about how the importance of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) framework and Nagoya protocol for the conservation of global biodiversity, and the procedures that a user of marine genetic resources have to undertake for accessing them legally. Since regulations can differ between countries, Dr. Cancio showed in his presentation the central role of the Access and Benefit Sharing Clearing House (ABS-CH), a repository that facilitates the contact with the national focal points as well as pointing to the legal texts applicable in each country. Next, Fiz da Costa (CIM/UVigo, Spain), project manager of EBB project explained how the project had assisted more than 30 users to access marine genetic resources legally. Each use case has had its particularities: different provider country, different national regulations, different purpose of the experiments… Dr. da Costa finished his talk explaining the main lessons learnt from these use cases. A round table closed the workshop with users of genetic resources from different countries (Portugal, France and Spain) sharing their experiences in accessing and utilizing marine genetic resources. They highlighted some of the difficulties encountered and acknowledged EBB project contribution in helping them.

According to the polls launched during the workshop, half of the audience belonged to clusters/private sector and the other half to academic sector. The majority of the audience was not familiarized with all the steps needed for ABS compliance.

The presentations and videos of the workshop can be found here.

4th EBB General Assembly

EBB partnership met virtually during three days, on 8th, 27th and 28th October, to take stock of the progress made in the last year and plan the next and final actions before the project finishes on 15th April.

They were intense sessions, where reporting on work packages was followed by short presentations by the partners.

Many new deliverables, finalised or closed to be in their final form were presented: amongst them, 1) an on-line EBB catalogue, a centralised gateway that will provide access to culture collections and biobanks held at EBB institutions; 2) the Handbook on implementation of EBB Best Practices; 3) a Step-by-Step guide on ABS compliance for commercial users, a report on the EBB Use Cases… the list goes on and the next months will be focused on the capitalization of all those outputs, making sure they are uptaken by other initiatives or projects.

During the General Assembly, the legacy of the project was also discussed, in particular, with regard to the European Marine Biological Resource Centre, EMBRC, under which EBB project is running. EMBRC will be the main depository of the main outputs. In particular, the Handbook on implementation of EBB Best Practices has already been endorsed by EMBRC, and in the future it will be submitted to be part of the EU Registry of Best Practices. The EBB online catalogue will eventually become an EMBRC catalogue for collections and biobanks from EMBRC members all over Europe.

In addition to EBB partners directly contributing to the project, the General Assembly counted on a number of guests from reputed institutions such as SANGER Welcome and the Scottish Association of Marine Science. EMBRC was also represented by its executive director Nicolas Pade, and its ABS officer, Arnaud Laroquette.

You can find the agenda of the Assembly here.

Business2sea 2020

On 19 November 2020, the Centro de Investigación Mariña of the Universidade de Vigo (CIM-UVigo), coordinator of the “European Blue Biobank” (EBB) project is organizing the workshop “Do not be a biopirate: the European Blue Biobank can help you use marine genetic resources legally” during the Bussiness2Sea on-line event, which be held from November 16 to 19.

The workshop will raise awareness of the existing obligations to access and use genetic resources derived from the Nagoya Protocol (2010) and associated regulations, presenting a number of use-cases based on the experience acquired by EBB project. Up to now, EBB has helped more than 30 users in obtaining legal clearance when utilizing genetic resources.

The meeting will allow to discuss the main lessons learnt through this process through a facilitated round table where several experts will engage with the audience.

The conference will take place on Zoom platform on the 19th November 2020 from 10:00 to 11:30 h. Attendance is free, but registration is required.