Sustainable production, Physiology, Oceanography, Natural products, Genetics and Economics of Sponges - SPONGES

Sustainable production, Physiology, Oceanography, Natural products, Genetics and Economics of Sponges - SPONGES

Many   marine   sponges   contain   natural   compounds   that   have   potential   interest   to   society. Limited possibilities to supply these compounds from natural resources often delays or even stops further development of a product after its initial discovery. In the project, systems and processes for the cultivation of marine sponges will be developed in order to create a stable and sustainable supply and reduce pressures on natural resources. The development of these applications  will   be   supported   by   studies   on   the  biology   of   the   target   organisms,   such   as ecology,   feeding   biology   (and   the   role   of   symbiotic   microorganisms   therein)   and   ATP- metabolism.  In   addition,   the   genetic   background   of   growth   and   secondary   metabolism   of sponges will be studied in order to rationalize strategies to improve culture techniques.

         The culture systems to be developed are an integration of innovative technologies of four   European   SMEs,   including  novel   strategies   to   feed   sponges   in   closed   and   half-open systems,   a   unique   technology   to   control   water   quality   in   artificial   marine   systems,   novel spectrometric   sensor   technology   (and   corresponding   software)   to   monitor   and   control   the system, an in vitro sponge cultivation system (primmorphs) for testing medium design and specific sponge farming methodologies.

         A   limited   number   of   (commercially   interesting)   sponge   species   will   be   used   in   the project as model species for technology development. Product formation in these species will be studied in order to optimise productivity of the culture systems.

         The objective of the project is to initiate a sustainable sponge industry in Europe by combining the efforts of innovative SMEs and leading scientific institutes. The project will strongly improve the competitive position of Europe in marine biotechnology and is expected to generate new products for the market.

Project category
Sedmi okvirni program za razvoj i istraživanje
Project leader / principal investigator

Renato Batel
+385 52 804 701
+ 385 99 272 84 68


Mueller, W.E.G.

Project start date
Project end date