One of the objectives of ERA-MBT’s work programme is to “identify needs and gaps in the value chain from research to ‘proof of concept’, and even into industrial research & development”. As a part of addressing this objective, one of the work packages aims at identifying funding schemes and make a mapping of MBT financing. A study was made, in which capital sources, both private and public, were identified at national and European levels.
Many mechanisms, both in the form of grants and in the form of loans to fund research, development and innovation (RDI) activities exist, but the funding environment is complex and diverse, leaving many opportunities untaken. This raises the question how well marine biotechnology stakeholders, and especially SMEs, are actually informed, understand and successfully utilize the available funding options. However, most of the bottlenecks identified are not specific to marine biotechnology, but part of a general picture where elements such as collaboration gaps between science and industry, administrative burdens etc. are found.
It is concluded that on the road for finding solutions to the identified funding challenges, further work should aim at 1) defining complementarities and synergies within existing partnerships, and 2) exploring reasons for the success of some and failure of other funding mechanisms. The final aim should be to identify solutions to support marine biotechnology RDI and thus bring promising technologies to the market.