NOVOMAR project is the natural consequence of the project IBEROMARE Multipolar centre for the valorization of marine resources and residues . It was also funded by the Operational Program of Cross-border Cooperation Spain-Portugal 2007-2013.

The core goal of IBEROMARE was the creation of a Multipolar centre for the valorization of marine resources and residues with the initial participation of the members of the consortium. NOVOMAR aims at carry on with the Centre apart from increasing the number of associated organisms as well as its capacities and field of activity. Its work deals with the maximum use of marine resources through different means.

The multipolar centre for the valorization has an own website that can be accessed from the NOVOMAR website. The mission of the multipolar centre is acting as a consulting and supporting organism for companies, administrations and public and private institutions about valorization of marine resources and residues applied to food and cosmetics as well as biomedical, pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors.

It intends to contribute to the socio-economical development and to the industrial network concerning the valorization of marine resources and residues.


The SWOT analysis of the Southeast of Europe specially the Iberian Peninsula

revealed a socio economical backwardness of the region with regards to the average of the EU. This underdevelopment is more evident in some regions of the two countries like the North of Portugal and Galicia. Strong initiatives to change this situation become necessary following the strategies of Lisboa and Europe 2020 which support the promotion of regional development based on the economy of knowledge.

In this context a new project arises now with the aim to consolidate the Multipolar Centre for the valorization of marine resources through the direct involvement of new institutions contributing with new values. For instance with regards to bioactive compounds of marine origin with pharmacological interest, biotechnological processes involving microorganisms with industrial interest, materials for effluent treatment and also analytical chemistry for a better identification of the problems linked to this sector.

The cross-border region of Northern Portugal and Galicia counts on high quality agents concerning the needs of the Multipolar Centre as recently proved in the IBEROMARE project. Meanwhile there’s a lack of strategies for networks which foster that quality regarding common goals. The Multipolar Centre makes up exactly one of those network strategies aiming at become a partner of the industrial structure of the region. Through synergy efforts it will intend to advance solutions for problems associated to certain by-products and especially to develop new applications that remarkably increase the competitiveness of those economical partners at regional and international level.


The new trends in economic activities –especially those from the primary sector- are focused in a systemic way that guarantees their stability. That’s what we call “Sustainable Economy”. The only structurally stable economy likely to survive in time is the sustainable one; in other words, the economy which defends the renovation and care of raw materials which are the basis of any industrial activity.

Valorization becomes more and more a wider concept insofar as the ways to obtain profit from marine organisms are increasing. To understand certain features of the projects developed within this field as well as their results, it is essential to talk about valorization. There are many definitions and all of them are right. The most simple is: “to use by-products and goods which are underused to obtain high added value products”. However in recent years this definition has become wider and covers not only by-products from the fishing activity but also other marine organisms which under particular conditions increase their properties in natural environment or become a source of molecules and compounds in certain fields of industry.

Traditional definition:

“To use underused by-products generated in the fishing activity to obtain a high added value product.”

Present definition:

“To use underused by-products generated in the fishing activity to obtain a high added value product and marine organisms that under particular conditions increase their properties in natural environment or become a very useful source of molecules and compounds in certain fields of industry.”

According to this second definition several types or ways can be identified to achieve valorization.

  1. Use of big amounts of fish by-products or marine organisms to obtain big amounts of different high added value products for human and animal food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, etc.

Seaweed                                               Ingredients of functional food

Marine fish by-products              High-value compounds: Collagen, Omega3 oils, etc.

  1. Live marine organisms which under certain environmental conditions and parameters increase some function they already develop in natural ecosystems benefiting an industrial activity.

Microalgae       Production of biofuels

Macroalgae       Cleaning of effluents in aquaculture (IMTA systems)

  1. Identification and extraction of biomolecules and ingredients with biological activity to be used in pharmacology, nutraceuticals, animal food, cosmetics, etc.

Microalgae       Bioactive compounds: Antitumoral, antibiotic, antifungal.

Macroalgae       Bioactive compounds: Polyphenols, fucans.

  1. Biomedical developments: design of scaffolds and ceramics to be used in tissue regeneration and more specifically in bone tissue from marine origin (chitin and chitosan, carragenate, microalgae, fish bones, shark teeth).The upgraded biomass is just a little amount.

Juncus maritimus, Corallina officinalis                 Bioinspiredmarine ceramic    scaffolds

Marine origin collagen (skin)                               Tissue engineering applications

  1. Identification in marine invertebrates of bio molecules to be used in pharmacology. No upgrading. Chemical synthesis.

Tunicate and Porifera                 Products with anti-tumour activity

Echinoderms                            Neuroprotection of immature neuronal cells