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"The Science We Need For The Ocean We Want"

We are on the threshold of a new and exciting era of discovery in the oceans that will shape the development of human endeavours for decades to come. New insights on the significance of the microscopic scale of ocean life has shown this level affects almost every aspect of our lives (health, food, industry, ecosystems). For society’s future, we need to investigate the science of marine microbiomes, integrate the novel technologies discovered and initiate policies that foster truly sustainable marine development.

The United Nations will dedicate the next decade to Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – “The Science we need for the Ocean we want” (  The Decade’s vision and mission are consistent with the objective of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research & Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) that is to “advance the shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and treasured, to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of the Atlantic for present and future generations”.

The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable resource shared by all Atlantic nations, and beyond. It requires effective cooperation in marine research and innovation to inform the sustainable management of human activities, and to ensure a healthy ocean for the communities that depend on it now and in the future.



This BBAMM Forum is comprised of marine microbiome, ocean observation and biotechnology researchers from countries around the Atlantic Ocean, those countries participating in the Galway and the Belém statements and now from the most recent All-Atlantic Ocean Research & Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) signed in Washington DC in July 2022.


The AORA Marine Microbiome Working Group spun out of the EU Horizon 2020 coordination and support action that supported this working group as part of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) between Canada, the European Union, and the United States of America. (See the core team below.)

In 2020, the Belém Joint Pilot Action between the EU, South America and Africa, formed an All-Atlantic Marine Biotechnology Initiative called AA-BIOTECMAR.


Together, both groups formed the #BBAMM Forum and widened the focus to include marine biotechnology tools and biotech aspects of Aquaculture, whilst maintaining its marine microbiome focus. So BBAMM now stands for Blue Biotechnology, Aquaculture and Marine Microbiome under the auspices of AAORIA, the All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

The framework of AAORIA-BBAMM is still under development.

The core team of the Marine Microbiome Working Group:

  • Margaret Rae (Co-Chair) - Independent Consult & Entrepreneur

  • Alice Ortmann (Co-Chair) - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

  • Kelly Goodwin (Co-Chair) - US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Fabiano Thompson, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Stéphane Pesant - EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute

  • Henk Bolhuis - Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

  • Pier Luigi Buttigieg - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

  • René Groben - Matis, Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D

  • Sigurdur Björnsson - The Icelandic Centre for Research, Rannis

  • Lydur Skuli Erlendsson - The Icelandic Centre for Research, Rannis

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