Researchers at UNCW will soon be able to dive a bit deeper into the world of marine biology. The university will soon be the home to a new state of the art marine biotechnology facility.
“It’s a win-win for the academic programs, for the biotechnology programs and actually it’s really a win for the community who will be taking our research into products and processes,” said UNCW Director of Marine Science Daniel Baden.
The 70,000 square foot facility will house the Marbionic program, a program focused on the benefits of marine technology when used in food, health and energy research. “You’re talking about the kind of research that will take us into the future in terms of food, pharmaceutical research, improving medicine and health. We are talking about the kind of research that results in further education,” described Mike McIntyre.
Construction on the site was made possible through federal stimulus money. Nearly $15 million will go toward building 12 laboratories and three large incubators. Construction on the facility is also expected to put 300 people to work.
When seventy percent of our planet is covered by water, researchers say its time to explore the infinite possibilities under the sea. “There is so much more in the ocean, so much more,” said Marbionic Directory of Research Jeffery Wright. “Marine organisms that do interesting things, make interesting compounds, have interesting enzymes and proteins we can use to better our lives.”
Construction on the facility is expected to begin by November.