MarBEC to host international scientists next week

University of Hawaiʻi
Kathy Oshiro, (808) 956-6447
Marine Bioproducts Engineering Center
Posted: Apr 18, 2002

The Marine Bioproducts Engineering Center (MarBEC) at the University of Hawaiʻi is hosting the 4th Asia-Pacific Marine Biotechnology Conference at the Hawaiʻi Imin International Conference Center on the Manoa campus from April 22-26.

The Society is an international organization that promotes marine biotechnology for scientists, industries and governments in the Asia-Pacific region. Conferences are held every two years, with previous sessions conducted in Japan (1995), Thailand (1997) and Philippines (1999). Almost 100 participants representing Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, have shared their work on topics including aquaculture, marine microbiology, algae biotechnology, genetics and marine natural products.

In the spirit of the previous meetings, this year‘s conference will promote interaction between marine biotechnologists and foster research collaboration between these groups. MarBEC is the only U.S. member of the organization. "We are delighted to be able to promote the university in an international setting and show how programs like MarBEC provide an interface between academic research and the needs of industry and government," said Charles Kinoshita, MarBEC‘s interim director.

MarBEC is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center focused on the discovery and commercialization of new products from marine sources. Its research programs involve students and faculty from several departments across the Manoa campus and at its research partner, the University of California, Berkeley.

"One of the unique aspects of the program is the effort to involve industry at every stage of the research process," says Kevin Kelly, MarBEC‘s director of business development. "Our faculty are working with several companies in Hawaiʻi to help them overcome challenges in their businesses that they really wouldn‘t be able to address without the intellectual capital of the university behind them."

[Note to editors: The conference was originally scheduled for October 2001 but was postponed in the wake of 9/11. Details of the agenda and opportunities for media coverage are available from Kathy Oshiro at MarBEC — 956-6447.]