Biotechnologies for human health and blue growth

Bythos is an Interreg V-A Italia-Malta 2014-2020 cooperation project approved for funding in 2018 which aims to use fish waste to increase investment in biotechnologies for human health and blue growth.

The project has created a joint space where experts in biotechnologies, business and industry will meet local enterprise from Sicily and Malta. The space provides technologies, tools and expert skills for enterprise in order to foster investment in innovation.

Fish waste is an extremely valuable source of high-added value bioactive molecules (BAMs), marine collagen and omega fatty acids of interest to the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

Zero waste will be achieved by transforming the remaining fish proteins into new products, such as fish feed for a growing aquaculture industry. The aim is to drastically reduce waste produced by the fisheries sector thereby decreasing the risks and costs associated with waste for both the environment and enterprise.

General aims of the project

  • Promote integration between research and the business sector so that results from research in the field of biotechnology for human health are taken forward to the market, thereby contributing to generating jobs and business opportunities, and increase investment in research and innovation in the economies of Sicily and Malta.

  • Promote sustainable management of resources and ‘cleaner production’ in the fishing industry and food services sector in Sicily and Malta, thereby minimizing risks associated with waste for the environment.

Specific aims of the project

  • Set up a joint living lab with ‘spaces’ in Malta and Sicily to work at the interface between research and enterprise.

  • Define biotechnologies and procedures for the production and commercial exploitation of a range of innovative, stakeholder-driven health products, such as marine collagen and Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids.

  • Minimize the quantity of fish waste from the fishing sector and food services sector.

Main project results

A Joint living lab proving services to enterprise

A set of stakeholder-driven products co-created with enterprise:

  • Bioactive molecule extraction procedures

  • Marine collagen extraction procedures

  • Fish food from fish waste production procedures

  • Models for organic refuse (fish waste) collection

  • Tailor-made business plans for enterprise