CSIRO has announced it will use new technology to produce omega-3 oils from ocean microbes, offering an alternative to sourcing it from wild fish and creating new economic opportunities from the ocean.
The organisation has announced it has signed an 18-month partnership agreement with Brisbane-based company Pharmamark Innovation to develop omega-3 oils, proteins and bioactives from marine microorganisms.
It said the partnership aims to unlock economic potential from a novel source of protein and omega-3 oils and will contribute to Australia’s growing ‘blue economy’ target of $100 billion annual revenue by 2025.
The products will aim to boost the nutritional value of a range of food and beverages, beginning with the $89 billion global baby milk formula market.
According to CSIRO research scientist Kim Lee Chang, the omega-3 oil is sourced from microorganisms found in the ocean, building on CSIRO’s recognised expertise in identifying and developing new sources for omega-3 oils such as engineered canola.
“Our science is underpinning the development of renewable and sustainable sources of omega-3 oils and other nutrients for which there is strong global demand,” said Dr Lee Chang.
CSIRO Coasts research director Dr Andy Steven said investment in the blue economy could create new industries for Australia.
“Collaboration between science and industry is central to realising sustainable economic opportunities from our oceans and driving innovation in the blue economy,” said Dr Steven.
“Supporting food security and global health while helping to grow Australian industry is a win-win,” added Dr Steven.
CEO of Pharmamark Innovation, Guy Drummond, said the company aims to deliver opportunities for a global market.
“This science-industry collaboration has the potential to generate a unique industry based on growing global demand for clean, green and healthy nutrients for people and animals,” said Mr Drummond.
“These proteins and omega-3 oils are vegan and environmentally friendly. Their production will be safe, and cost-effective, with the ability to bring the proven benefits of nutrients like omega-3 oils to many more people.”