EBB Final Meeting in Porto, Portugal

On July 4th and 5th, 2023, the members of the Interreg European Marine Biological Resource Centre Biobank (EBB) gathered in Porto, Portugal, to mark the conclusion of the project. Participants from several countries involved in the project, including Spain, Portugal, France, and Norway, came together for the Final Meeting to discuss topics such as ABS regulation, project outcomes, as well as the project’s legacy and future perspectives.

The event on July 4th commenced with opening remarks by Nicolas Pade (Executive Director of EMBRC) and Maria Huete (Project Coordinator at Uvigo). This was followed by a presentation by Anne Emmanuelle Kervella (International Cooperation, CNRS & EMBRC-ERIC), who introduced the best practices guidelines (BPGs) for ABS regulation. Ian Probert (Head of Roscoff Culture Collection, EMBRC-FR (SU-CNRS)) then presented the TRACE and TRACK tools for biobanks. Arnaud Laroquette (ABS Compliance Officer, EMBRC-ERIC) concluded the session by conducting webinars that provided an introduction to the EU Access and Benefit Sharing regulations for culture collections and users.

On 5th July, the Work Packages WP3-Capitalization, WP4-Development of common methodologies for the management of Marine Biobanks and WP5-ABS compliance for collections and fundamental research using MBRs (EMBRC-ERIC, UVIGO) leaders presented their outcomes. Moreover, there was a panel conducted by Juliana Carvajal (Head of European Affairs, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique) about the role of biological resource centres in ABS. The closure was conducted by Nicolas Pade and Estefania Paredes Rosendo (UVigo).

The meeting was broadcasted by Vimeo and participants could also join by Zoom videoconference. The main goal of the EBB project was to facilitate sustainable access to marine biodiversity, its associated data, and extractable products for local and international academia and industry users, and to incentivize biodiversity conservation in coastal ecosystems by promoting compliance with Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) from the Nagoya Protocol. The project accomplished its initial proposals and leave an important legacy on the ABS regulation knowledge.

EBB Workshop in Gran Canaria, Spain

On May 16th and 17th, 2023, the EBB project held a workshop at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain). The workshop covered the topics, such as harmonisation of data management and administrative procedures, technical discussions on Material Transfer Agreements (MTA), strains deposits in culture collections and quality management systems for culture collections. Techniques for strain isolation, cryopreservation, flow cytometry, morphological and molecular characterization of species were also discussed. Potential training courses that the EBB culture collections could offer to their users were also addressed.

Additionally, training was provided on the TRACK and TRACE tools developed during the project. The TRACK tool aims to manage data on marine biological resources in natural environments. The TRACE database serves as a searchable catalog of a wide range of marine biological resources, including animals, macroalgae, protists, prokaryotes, and viruses, provided by the marine stations within the EMBRC Research Infrastructure. The catalog includes living resources currently cultured ex situ (model animal and macroalgal taxa, microorganism culture collections), fixed or frozen resources maintained in sample collections, and resources that can potentially be collected from the natural environment upon demand. In the TRACE database, users can find information about the nature and origin of the resources they are interested in and identify the marine station(s) that can provide the biological resources through on-site and/or remote access.