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2021 HI Marbank bilde web

Marbank is the national marine biobank of Norway, with a mission of providing academia and industry with easy and safe access to marine biological resources for research and exploitation purposes. Marbank holds samples and data of marine organisms collected in Arctic, sub-Arctic and boreal habitats, varying from the intertidal zone to the deep seas. 

Marine biobanks are key for the development of blue biotechnology. The cold waters up North represent a combination of extreme temperature and special light conditions, offering good prospects of discovering organisms with sophisticated surviving-mechanisms and properties, unique genes and novel bioactive compounds.

The Marbank collections contain a wide assortment of samples from marine species. At present biochemical extracts from marine macrofauna and isolates of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, are the typical sample types offered to the scientific community. On request other sample types can be provided, as well as in situ sampling of various types of marine organisms/marine material. The customized sampling is usually carried out in the form of project collaboration. This is exploited within marine bioprospecting.

Marbank regularly conduct field surveys to collect marine samples both in search for organisms new to the collections as well as replenishing the existing collections. Marbank has collected marine samples from approximately 1300 locations. To date most of the samples originate from Arctic open sea areas and fjords within Norwegian jurisdiction. All Marbank samples are legally collected with a trackable origin, taxonomically characterized, quality assured, preserved, catalogued and stored. 

Marbank is located in Tromsø, Norway, with laboratories and repositories for sample preparation and long-time storage of biological samples. A web catalogue displaying all available Marbank samples will be launched in 2021. Until the web catalogue is operative customers are kindly asked to contact Marbank for further information.

Marbank closely cooperates with other research groups within IMR and with external partners. Marbank is also one of the project partners in the initiative of establishing the European Blue Biobank (EBB) - a transnational network coordinating marine biobanks. EBB will facilitate the access to a common registry of marine bio-specimens, stimulating future work to increase the diversity and quality of marine biological resources made available to user communities and facilitating their biotechnological valorization.