A delegation from Gran Canaria of representatives of the Island Council’s Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) and the Spanish Algae Bank (BEA) attended the Biomarine Convention in Canada to promote Gran Canaria as a marine biotechnology business platform.
Under the umbrella of the brand ‘Best in Gran Canaria’, the delegation was able to contact over twenty companies to share information about the attractions of the island for companies to set up business there, such as its tax benefits, climate, air connectivity and its proximity to Africa, which sparked the interest of international investors due to the infrastructure and business and research potential the island offers.
Gran Canaria is known as a centre for scientific institutions such as the Spanish Algae Bank, the Canary Islands Technological Institute and the Ecoaqua University Institute, which are an international benchmark for the algae biotechnology sector. The Spanish Algae Bank located in Telde, has a collection of over 1,600 strains from the macaronesic region and participates in research projects such as Rebeca from the Interreg-Mac Europe Meeting, which endeavours to showcase these strains and identify the potential of its compounds for the market.
The delegation from Gran Canaria, the only one representing Spain in this event, held a meeting with the minister in charge of implementing maritime strategy, Jean D’Amour, who outlined a € 1.5 billion investment in the coming years to create 22,000 jobs in the blue economy.
Moreover, contact was made with representatives of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union, responsible for the Atlantic Action Plan, who pointed out that the so-called ‘blue growth’ stands out as a priority area to opt for funded R&D projects.
An opportunity for agreements and business
The main organiser of Biomarine 2017, Pierre Erwes, highlighted his support for Gran Canaria in the bioeconomy sector, and placed the island as “one of the hot spots to generate important projects”.
Biomarine gathered, in its 4th edition, 400 participants among which were investors, entrepreneurs and scientists with links to the marine biotechnology industry, who analysed the industry’s main trends, and held working and business meetings with participants.
Most of the businesses that registered engage in the extraction of bioactive compounds, from macro and microalgae, the applications of which are of interest for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and human and animal nutrition industries, although they also have other applications such as natural pigments for the textile industry.