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Estoril ,  October 30, 2014

Azores want to attract marine biotechnology companies for exploitation of deep-sea resources

The Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology participated today at the BioMarine Conference, an international investment platform focused on marine biological resources, where he announced the Azores' intention "of becoming a marine biotechnology hub of the North Atlantic and the deep-sea."

Speaking at the opening session of the international event, where he represented Portugal, Fausto Brito e Abreu emphasised "the special importance of the EU 'blue growth' strategy."

"More than 50% of EU waters are under Portuguese jurisdiction and, in turn, more than 50% of the Portuguese sea is located in the Azores; therefore, the Region holds a considerable responsibility in the implementation of a development model based on the 'blue economy'," said the government official.
Fausto Brito e Abreu demonstrated the potential of the Azores for investments in the area of marine biotechnology. According to estimates, this market is expected to grow between 5-10% worldwide in coming years. Marine biotechnology has applications in several sectors, such as cosmetics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, environment and clean technologies.

"The Region has what it takes to create new business opportunities in the area of marine biotechnology, starting with the geographical proximity of deep-sea ecosystems, where there are extremophile organisms that have a great biotechnological potential," stated the Regional Secretary.

In his speech, the government official also announced a package of incentives to be implemented by the Regional Azorean Government in order to attract national and international companies working in the field of marine biotechnology.

Regarding the measures created by the Government and the competitive gains for the Azores, it is important to mention the following: a favourable tax scheme for marine biotechnology companies in order to foster the creation of jobs, a funding line for Research and Development projects in business context, a proper legal framework as well as streamlined licensing procedures, including pioneering legislation on the access and sharing of benefits from genetic resources.

Fausto Brito e Abreu also noted that the marine biotechnology companies that will be based in the Azores may benefit from offices and laboratories with affordable rents on the island of Faial, where a business park will be installed for companies working with marine resources. Moreover, these companies will have easier access to the scientific knowledge provided by IMAR/DOP; the latter is "a research centre that is on the world top 20 of publications on deep-sea environments."

The BioMarine Business Convention, which takes place today and Friday at the Estoril Congress Centre, is one of the most important business events on marine biotechnology worldwide. It brings together about 300 executives of companies specialising in the development of marine bioresources industries from more than 30 countries.

Biomarine is under the high patronage of the Presidency of the Portuguese Government and Prince Alberto II of Monaco is one of its main hosts.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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