Fano Marine Center: a joint hub for researching marine bio-diversity and technologies

Bologna University, Urbino Carlo Bo University, Marche Politecnico, Anton Dohrn Zoological Station (SZN), National Research Center (CNR) and Fano City Council signed the agreement for a center of excellence in the Viale Adriatico building. The Museum and the Aquarium will also be re-opened.
Fano Marine Center

The renewal works for the new labs at Fano Marine Center are about to start. The renovation works will include shared equipment, a new set-up and the implementation of the Aquarium and the Maritime Museum, which will later be open to the public. Fano Mayor, Massimo Seri, the Rectors of the Universities of Bologna (Francesco Ubertini), of Urbino “Carlo Bo” (Vilberto Stocchi) and of Politecnico delle Marche (Sauro Longhi), the presidents of the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station (Roberto Danovaro) and of the Department of Earth system science and environmental technologies (Fabio Trincardi) all witnessed to the agreement for the Fano Marine Center.

The new center will allow universities and research institutes to cooperate on integrated and multidisciplinary research projects on biodiversity, sea resources and marine biotechnology for a sustainable development of Adriatic Sea blue growth. The Fano Marine Center will be located on two floors of the building in Viale Adriatico, Fano. The department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences (BIGEA) of the University of Bologna will occupy floors two and three of the same building. The University of Bologna is the building only beneficiary and therefore will pay for the renovation works, while the other institutions will contribute by making their equipment available.

The ground floor will host the renewed Aquarius. Anton Dohrn Zoological Station will be in charge of buying and installing new fish tanks and its staff will take care of populating those tanks with fish species. Fano municipality will cover the costs of security, opening and closing services and of guided tours to the Aquarius and to the Maritime Museum.

Three labs, equipment, meeting rooms and 20 co-working spaces will be hosted in the first floor of the building. The aim of the signatories of the agreement is that of carrying out researches, which will allow a joint participation in competitive programs at regional, national and international levels. Researchers will be investigating a number of fields: marine biology and ecology, sea-creatures genomic structures, aquaculture, fish-based drugs, citizen science, bioremediation of marine sediments, biomineralization mechanisms, biotechnological  applications of biominerals, and circular economy.

Mayor of Fano, Massimo Seri, said: “Fano Marine Center will be an advance research hub and will develop new scientific applications for sea resources and environment, as well as for the economic growth of the sea economy. This will make Fano a city of knowledge and skills acquisition. This is a great achievement for our city. I would like to thank the Universities of Bologna, Ancona and Urbino, the Zoological Station Anton Dohrn in Neaples and the National Research Council: thank you for choosing Fano for this great project which will be supported by the entire citizenry”.

“This marks the birth of a fundamental hub for interdisciplinary research in the field of sea sciences – said Francesco Ubertini, rector of the University of Bologna – Fano will become an important landmark in the Adriatic sea, and more broadly, in the Mediterranean area. This is particularly relevant for the International Ph.D. programme “FishMed” started in 2018 here in Viale Adriatico. Ph.D. students will be able to use the facilities of the Fano Marine Center Labs, and this will increase their chance of interacting and actively collaborating with institutions and Fano’s research community”.

The Rector of Carlo Bo University in Urbino, Vilberto Stoccchi, stated, “Fano Marine Center involves universities and research centers and thus represents a valuable model of synergy between institutions aiming to raise awareness towards the issues concerning the sea environment. The high-profile figures involved ensure the high level of the research activity here at Fano Marine Center, making the latter a major competitor at the international level. Fano Marine Center will contribute to enhance the Marche Region and will support those institutions defending the environment”.   

“The sea is a primary resource for human kind, both because early forms of life had originated in the sea and because our planet’s balance is based on the conservation and enhancement of this fundamental resource”, says Sauro Longhi, Rector of Marche Politecnico. “Marche Politecnico offers international degrees and collaborations with major European universities, whose focus is to preserve and enhance sea resources. This research centre in Fano will allow us to increase significantly our research activity in this field not only as concerns shared resources and labs, but also, and most importantly for the collaborations and fruitful blending of different research groups operating here”.

“Fano Marine Centre is a role model in our country as it sees researchers from national institutions (SZN and CNR) working with university professors” says Roberto Danovaro, President of Anton Dohrn Zoologic Station. “This will be a university for students and a museum where visitors will have the chance to see with their own eyes how research on the Adriatic Sea is carried out”.

Fabio Trincardi, Director of the Department of Earth system science and environmental technologies at the National Centre of Research (CNR), said, “the CNR has joint forces with IRBIM (Institute for biologic resources and marine biotechnologies) for Fano Marine Centre by making available expertise and competence of its three Marine Institutes (450 people in 15 branches all over Italy). Something similar happened with the International Marine Station of Capo Granitola (Trapani): it has recently opened and it has represented the joint effort of all the research institutions involved in marine research in Italy as well as a number of Universities. Integrated and multidisciplinary research will be possible at Fano Marine Center thanks to the synergistic work of researchers from public institutions and three universities (Bologna, Urbino, and Marche Politecnico). This will increase the number of interactions, the research and education paths focusing on relevant issues such as blue growth in the Adriatic Sea, the sustainable management of fish stock, blue biotechnologies and sea environment preservation”.

Published on: 12 November 2019