The dynamics of any ecosystem either marine or terrestrial aims at its existence sustained over time keeping high levels of productivity in biological terms. That idea is funded on the maximum energetic use of any level of its trophic pyramid: a waste produced by some organisms becomes a food source for others and so on until the circle is completely closed. Due to the abundance of resources, all the industrial sectors have been working in the last decades ignoring this guideline. However, in recent years the decline of natural resources along with the negative effect of wastes from companies during their production process on the natural environment has forced to review the traditional productive and economic model because it is unfeasible on the medium term. Thus from many social organisms including companies a new philosophy based on a relatively new term but already well known is emerging: “circular and sustainable economy”. Eventually and simply, it deals about achieving an economic model that works under the same parameters than any ecosystem.
The fishery products extracting and processing industry, widely and historically established in Galicia and Portugal, is aware of this matter and its activity generates a wide range of by-products from very different species and in significant tonnages. These wrongly called by-products contain a big amount of biomolecules and biopolymers with a high potential and applicability in the fields of pharmacology, nutraceutics and biomedicine.
Furthermore marine organisms represent an enormous reservoir of molecules and possibilities practically never-ending and yet to be discovered. Accordingly, it must be stated that the concept of Valorisation becomes more and more a wider concept to the extent that the ways to obtain benefit from marine organisms are increasing. A definition suitable for the current moment could be: “To use underused by-products generated in the fishing activity to obtain high added value products and marine organisms that under particular conditions increase their properties in natural environment or become a very useful source of molecules and compounds in certain fields of industry”.
The CVMar+I project, leaded by Prof. Rui L. Reis from the 3B’s Research Group of the University of Minho, is included into the European Program Interreg for the Cross Border Cooperation Galicia-Portugal 2014-2010. The project started in June 2017 and will finish in December 2019 with a budget assigned of 3.2 million Euros.
The initiative CVMar+I focuses its goals on the valorisation of marine resources and fisheries by-products through different ways –specially the medical one- . It is the last one of a series of European Interreg Cross Border Cooperation and Atlantic Area projects which has benefited a very stable partnership who has been working jointly on this matter since 2006. Therefore, it is not an isolated but linked initiative whose only goal is contributing to the maximum use of marine resources according to the circular economy concept.
CVMar+i Project aims to promote the valorization of marine resources and byproducts in the region through the generation of new technologies and products of high added value with application in different industrial sectors like health and well-being, food, biotechnology and sensors.
- Promotion of cooperation between companies and research centers. This project intends to create or strengthen cooperation links between research centers and companies in the context of the joint innovation based on the know-how of centers and the installed capacity of business. The goal is achieving an effective share of knowledge, resources and technology focused on the smart growth of the region by the reinforcement of the industrial tissue as well as by the valorization of the population, strengthening the critical mass derived from maintaining and attracting researchers to the institutions.
- Industrial innovation. The CVMar+I project intends to promote cooperation between research centers and companies with industrial innovation actions, expected to create significant technological advances to blatantly benefit the participant firms in a way that they improve their technological process.
- Reinforcement of the CVMar, Multipolar Centre for the Valorization of Marine Resources, (http://cvmar.cetmar.org/) as an active agent in the region for the promotion of the marine resources and the valorization of products from the industrial processing. With the previous projects co-financed by POCTEP 2007-2013 this Center was created as an active agent in the region for the promotion of the endogenous marine resources valorization and the many byproducts generated in the region’s processing companies (specially fish processors and canning industry).