MARINE FUNGI focused on a "sustainable use of the oceans and seas", as demanded by the EU Integrated Maritime Policy statement, by exploiting marine fungi, which can be sampled from the marine environment, but then cultivated under defined conditions without disturbance of or harm to the marine environment. This is accomplished by the formation of a strongly interacting research network comprising the scientific and technological actors, including 3 SMEs and 2 ICPC partners, necessary to move along the added-value chain from the marine habitat to the preclinical candidate and process concept.
The lead users are pharmaceutical companies taking characterised anti-cancer substances derived from marine fungi into further drug development. The project strengthened the competitiveness of European marine biotechnology by providing scientific and technical ground for the exploitation of marine fungi. Moreover, the project strengthened the network of marine biotechnology actors exploring the potential of marine fungi.
During the first phases of the project dissemination of information was limited to the distribution of controlled publishable abstracts, in order to respect confidentiality for patent applications. During the later phases of the project, articles were published in scientific journals and trade magazines, including specifications, results and achievements, to publicise the discoveries of the programme and the potential technology transfer to users outside the consortium. Beside valorisation partners, a major target group for MARINE FUNGI are European citizens. MARINE FUNGI aimed to increase the visibility of marine biotechnology as a key technology in Europe.
To increase the impact of result dissemination, the partners participated and will continue to present MARINE FUNGI and its outcomes on established conferences, trade fairs and specific project meetings announced for e.g. pharmaceutical companies. These conferences provide scientific communication as well as possibilities for meeting industrial representatives.
Intellectual property rights in MARINE FUNGI are managed in accordance with the regulations in the EU contract. Specifically detailed arrangements related to IPR were made in the MARINE FUNGI Consortium Agreement. The protection of knowledge resulting from the project is controlled by a specific Intellectual Property Committee constituted from project partners ensuring a good balance between academic and industrial partners. There will be a fair and equitable sharing of all benefits of results, patents and licenses arising from living and genetic resources. The valorisation will help to ensure Europe’s involvement in the quickly increasing world market of biotech products. The success of MARINE FUNGI will help to sustain and develop the business of the involved SMEs. It may also contribute to the employment opportunities in the Blue Biotech and Pharmaceutical sector in Europe in the future.