Why is SPECIAL so special?
The sea harbors a rich biodiversity, which provides a plentiful resource of potential new products for society. Yet, after their initial discovery, no progress is made regarding the advancement of many of these marine natural products because biological materials needed for consecutive development cannot be sufficiently supplied. In particular sponges, that are extremely rich in natural products, are considered as a promising biological resource that cannot be fully exploited because they are notoriously difficult to culture. Therefore, sponges are the most logical target for a project that addresses bottlenecks in culture methods for marine organisms.
The main objective of SPECIAL is to establish sustainable, controlled technologies for the production of sponge materials building upon discovery and development of sponge-derived products.