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Institut Pasteur (France), BacMINE (Spain), Swansea University (UK), BIOTEC (Thailand)

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This project will synergize the unique complementary expertise, competences and experiences from the international partners who represent all necessary sectors to address this important problem of global shellfish aquaculture.

The EU Academic sector (represented in the project by Institute Pasteur and Swansea University) brings in unparalleled state-of-the-art technology platforms, fundamental knowledge and expertise in aquatic animal. Particularly, Institut Pasteur opens its Bio-Omics Pole offering high-throughput Illumina sequencing of both DNA and RNA samples, PacBio and chip-based genotyping to provide an integrative genomic approach to the consortium. Indeed Institut Pasteur will benefit from the Thai academic sector (BIOTEC) which has an expertise and equipment for metabolomic studies. Knowledge transfer will be ensured by researcher exchanges and numerous workshops. Swansea University has experts on invertebrate immunology, particularly in immune response to pathogenic challenge in wide range of aquatic animals. Such experiences and knowledge are instrumental to this project. Swansea will, in its turn, benefit from the access to high technology platforms available at Pasteur and BIOTEC and from transfer of the knowledge.

BacMINE, an EU SME utilizing synthetic biology to produce microbes with specific functions, can benefit from both the EU and Thai academic sectors for evaluating their products in terms of improvement of health and survival rate upon pathogenic challenge in shrimp. In addition, it can spread its market to Asian countries by exploiting the extensive aquatic industry network that BIOTEC has. The academic sectors can also benefit from synthetic biology expertise of BacMINE as well as learning how a commercial company operates in a process of product development. This will help bridge the gap between academic and commercial sectors.

BIOTEC team is a strategic partner of this project as it has been focusing its efforts on improving aquaculture of penaeid shrimp over the past two decades by putting tremendous investments in R&D, infrastructure and human resources. BIOTEC will bring to the project highly effective individuals who are pioneers in applying their expertise in the aquaculture practice, in particularly in microarray analysis, microbiology and biochemistry, in order to improve shrimp production. The consortium will benefit from their knowledge of shrimp. The product from BacMINE will be tested for its ability to improve the health of aquatic animal at BIOTEC, while the molecular effects will be further examined at Institut Pasteur, Swansea University and BIOTEC by monitoring changes in shrimp gut microbial populations, transcriptomic changes and the immune system responses upon pathogenic challenge. BIOTEC will also benefit from the EU team by leveraging its current knowledge with most updated technology as well as spread the knowledge to Thai relevant industry partners, which is the mission of BIOTEC.

Together, combined competencies from all partners of SAFE-Aqua will create synergy that propels the knowledge on the shrimp aquaculture practice to the technology forefront. More importantly, this work can serve as an example of how the most cutting-edge technology can be used to improve aquatic animal rearing and support SME. By helping BacMINE to get a full picture of their product effectiveness, other research institute, in turns, get a chance to apply their most cutting edge techniques and research creativity into something very tangible for both the business and the agricultural side.