Marine Bio, the Miracle of the Wando Sea The Key to Open the Future

About 2,200 species of marine life live in the clean waters of Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do. The government has a plan to build a seaweed-specialized base centering on Wando, including the development and mass production of seaweed-based biomaterials and products, considering the regional characteristics of the large-scale production of seaweeds in the southwest coast region.

In line with the government’s policy, Wando-gun is also working hard to build a marine bio-industry cluster in the southwest coast region to focus on fostering the marine bio-industry using marine resources, which are regionally specialized resources, as a new growth engine industry that will lead the future of Wando. First, the creation of a seaweed-specialized marine bio research complex was reflected in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s ‘2030 South Coast Development Comprehensive Plan’ in 2020, giving momentum to the project.

In addition, the ‘Ordinance on the Promotion and Support of the Marine Bio Industry in Wando-gun’ was enacted for the first time in the nation’s basic local government, laying the foundation for the systematic development of the marine bio industry.

As a result of continuous efforts to build marine bio-based infrastructure, government-funded projects are reflected, and the marine bio industry is getting closer to clustering. The marine bio cooperative research institute, a core facility of the marine bio industry cluster, will invest 10.2 billion won in total project cost to prepare 10 company-affiliated research institutes and 30 start-up spaces. It is being built for technical cooperation with domestic and foreign research institutes, and is expected to be completed in December of this year.

The seaweed active material certification and production facility is the first GMP facility for seaweed in Korea, and a total of 25 billion won will be invested for four years starting in ’21. It is a system that extracts functional substances from various seaweeds produced in Wando and supplies marine bio raw materials for the production of health functional foods and functional cosmetics. The main facilities consist of the HACCP building, which is a pretreatment facility for seaweed desalination and heavy metal removal, and the GMP building and quality control QC analysis room that produce raw materials for functional seaweeds. When this facility is built, it can be used not only for simple processing companies but also for high-order processing, so it is expected that high-value-added marine bio products will be produced and local businesses will be revitalized.

The Marine Health Care Effectiveness Demonstration Center, which will be built at the Marine Biology Research and Education Center of Chosun University in Shinji-myeon, will provide one-stop support from the selection of seaweed materials to standardization of raw materials, functional evaluation, and product development for the development of high value-added products of seaweed with a total project cost of KRW 16 billion. aiming for It is expected that this data will be helpful to fishermen and companies who want to commercialize these data by making it easier to access seaweed materials.

The seaweed material cosmetic prototype production facility is scheduled to be completed in 2023 with an investment of 2.5 billion won in the Marine Bio Research Center of the Jeonnam Bio Industry Promotion Agency. In the case of functional cosmetics, research and development investment for functionality is essential compared to general cosmetics. Due to the high cost of development procedures such as safety and skin clinical trials for functional ingredients, it is difficult for existing small companies to access them.

As mentioned earlier, the domestic marine bio industry is just starting out. In addition, there is a high dependence on imports of marine biomaterial raw materials and materials, a low ratio of R&D and facility investment, and difficulties due to the small size of the company such as a lack of professional manpower and lack of funds and technology. Support is needed. Whether or not the commercialization of bio products will be achieved within the eighth term of the popular vote is the most important thing.

Addendum | This article was also published in the Wando Shimbun.

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