Blue biotechnology: opportunities and challenges 
of a fast-growing sector

Blue biotechnologies, or marine biotechnologies, are processes that transform marine resources (including micro-organisms, invertebrates, macro-algae and fisheries co-products) into services and goods in a multitude of fields. This includes micro-organisms (microalgae, bacteria and fungi), algae and invertebrates (e.g. starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins).

This very promising and still under-exploited sector faces many challenges, including the industrialization of processes.


Discover the applications of marine biotechnology, the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry and how Boccard's teams can assist them.


What applications for blue biotechnologies?

They can be found in:

Life science industries :

  • Agri-food: food supplements, fertilizers derived from the processing of microalgae;
  • Cosmetics and cosmeceuticals: anti-wrinkle creams, antimicrobial facial care, thalassotherapy
  • Pharmacology: development of new oncological, cardiovascular, dermal and bone regeneration drugs
  • Aquaculture: methods to valorize the protein fraction of fishing co-products

Energy sector:

  • Energy: second and third generation biofuels;
  • Environment: enhanced oil recovery, bio-detoxification, recovery of precious metals or rare earths.


The opportunities for blue biotechnologies

The companies working in the field of blue biotechnologies are counting on a promising future. For the past ten years, they have been growing very rapidly: 10% per year, according to Sup'Biotech, with a global market that amounted to 3.8 billion euros in 2017[1]. This growth is strongly driven by a societal demand for natural products and by legislative developments in the field of sustainable development.

France, with the second largest maritime area in the world with nearly 20,000 kilometers of coastline, including the overseas territories, has a leading role to play in this promising field. Research centers are developing (university laboratories and research institutes mainly in Bretagne and the PACA region), around which clusters of companies specialized in the marine biotechnology sector are emerging. In western France, the Capbiotek technological innovation center in Rennes has identified more than 120 start-ups and SMEs in this sector. Bretagne, the 3rd largest French region in biotechnology, even takes second place on the international scene as an international supplier of marine ingredients, behind Norway and ahead of Denmark, Ireland and Iceland.[2].


How does Boccard help blue biotechnology manufacturers to meet their challenges? 


To meet this growing market, the producers are being challenged to obtain, exploit and produce on an industrial scale the identified molecules of interest. Therefore, an important part of the research and development process is linked to the optimization of production processes, beginning by fermentation. Industrial companies need to be supported to implement these processes while ensuring optimal quality and ROI.


Boccard understands this challenge and develops solutions that help companies in the fields of Biotechnology, Food and Ingredients processes to meet it.


Boccard is an expert in process engineering and project management. Our experienced teams manufacture, install and maintain complete automated equipment and industrialization solutions for the production of a wide variety of ingredients including blue biotechs.

They design the engineering, the mechanical, electrical and automation studies, manufacture the skids and pilot the FATs in the workshops, manage the on-site construction as well as the commissioning.

We offer tailor-made process solutions, including turnkey EPC: raw material handling, modular skids, process and storage tanks, hydrolysis, fermentation, mixing and stirring, pilot plants and equipment, powder incorporation, dosing and mixing, preparation and standardization, filtration and separation, pasteurization and sterilization, sterile and ultra-clean process tanks, cleaning in place (CIP), automation, centralized control and recipe management and traceability.

[1] Finistère 360°

[2] Idem

Les RDV des Biotechs Bleues


We are proud to be partners of the « Rendez-vous des Biotechs Bleues »: 2 days dedicated to exchange around the research perspectives, the industrial possibilities and the economic development of blue biotechnologies.


Come and meet the leaders of the blue biotechnology application fields. Let's meet and discuss your production objectives and challenges.


D 1 - Thursday 25 November 2021 - Blue Cluster Forum : Blue bioresources and agriculture

D 2 - Friday, November 26, 2021 - Microalgae business meetings with a visit to the AlgoSolis platform


250 companies, research laboratories, technical centers, professional organizations, and other major economic players will attend to asses the connections between blue bioresources and agriculture.

For these industrialists of the sector this meeting will also be an opportunity to improve their production processes, optimize their methods and accelerate their development.


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