New Karelian Marine Biotech Transfer Center – North Western Russia

New Karelian Marine Biotech Transfer Center – North Western Russia

The republic of Karelia lies in North Western Russia. To the west it has a long border with Finland, to the East the shores of the White Sea. In the following article the founding of a new biotechnology transfer center is described. View a map of Kareliahere .

Article Highlights

We hit upon the idea of founding a biotechnology transfer center in the Republic of Karelia (RK) when mayor of Belomorsk, a city on the southern White Sea coast, proposed to organize a research station of the Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), in this region. The regional administration was interested in attracting resources of the RAS to the region in order to promote its economic development and, prospectively, to create new jobs. In this context, we concluded that it would be expedient to establish a  center specialized in the transfer and development of the technologies based on utilization of biological resources of the White Sea and its coast.

Our activities are based on a holistic approach, which implies popularization and promotion of biotechnology, lobbying for favorable legislation, search for the sources of financing aimed at developing effective collaboration with academic institutes and establishing start-up companies to ensure continuous transfer of biotechnologies, e.g., by means of joint projects based on new ideas.

At the initial stage, priorities in the work of the Karelian Marinebiotech Transfer Center are as follows:

1. Practical application of new technologies in mariculture to restoration of the stocks of valuable seaweed species in the White Sea, which have been depleted due to uncontrolled harvesting.
2. Transfer of technologies for producing phycocolloids (having many applications in the forms of agar, agarose, etc), carotenoids, and other substances for the pharmacological industry.
3. Creating an Internet resource  and bioinformatic platform for compiling and distributing information on biologically active compounds derived from hydrobionts (enzymes of nucleic acid metabolism and polysaccharide modification, polypeptide antibiotics, etc.). Identification of genes controlling different developmental stages and pathways in marine and freshwater organisms (Biodiscovery).

Today, the structure of the Karelian Marinebiotech Transfer Center is as follows:

Scientific management
Dr. Konstantin Kozlov, Institute of Developmental Biology, RAS (molecular biology, genomics, proteomics); e-mail:
Prof. Valery Starostin, Institute of Developmental Biology, RAS (cell biology, histology); phone/fax: +7-095-135-87-80
Dr. Aleksei Zotin, Institute of Biochemistry, RAS (biology of marine and freshwater mollusks, methods of immunochemical analysis); e-mail:

To read the full article, which contains more information on staff, future work proposals, and general information concerning the center please click here.

News Source: Konstantin Kozlov, Project Author.

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