I bet you associate the Canary Islands with sun, beach and holidays. However, do you also associate them with top-notch marine life scientific research? You should! The Spanish archipelago has an Algae Biotechnology Platform (PEBA for its initials in Spanish) that has become a reference in the field internationally.
Marine Biotechnology opportunities in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are not willing to reactively live off the great weather conditions they have all year long. As a result, they have taken a proactive approach to turn their incredible natural resources (in this case their outstanding marine life) into worldwide relevant initiatives.
The PEBA was created in 2016 with an initial investment of over 2 million euros from the local government and 26 researchers. Their main goal is to build a name for themselves and get a piece of what is known as The Blue Economy (an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources), which nowadays generates over 175 billion dollars worldwide.
This platform focuses on everything algae related; from the paint used in boats (certain chemicals are forbidden in the EU) to the ingredients in sunscreens, including pharma, food and energy, all of it is heavily impacted by algae research. Besides, the scientific reach of the platform stretches all the way to the coast and the ocean themselves, subjects the Canary Islands know very well.
The PEBA is the result of a joined effort, between the Spanish Bank for Algae, the Canarian Technological Institute (ITC in Spanish) and the local government of Gran Canaria.
The PEBA makes a lot of sense in the Canary Islands. Not only does the Spanish archipelago offer second-to-none natural resources (43% of Gran Canaria has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO) and unbelievable weather conditions. The islands are also a fantastic place to do business; over 10% of the population are expats, generating a diverse and foreign language-speaking workforce, more than a thousand STEM graduates are generated every year by 180 Professional Training Centers and 5 universities, and if that wasn´t enough here you can find the lowest income tax in Europe (4%).
Wrapping up; if you’re a researcher or an R&D institution in the Blue Economy field, imagine a place where your efforts could be boosted by unparalleled marine territory plus unique infrastructure to carry out your work. Reach out and explore what the Canary Islands can offer for you, your research and your institution.