Future might be blue not green

SHOALHAVEN City Council might lead a delegation from the region to a major international conference in Portugal this year looking at a future that paints the world blue, not green.

The fifth Biomarine International Business Conference held at Cascais, Portugal in October will focus on what is called the “blue economy”, using products from the sea to supply existing industries with raw and processed goods, and creating new industries and technologies that take advantage of the latest scientific developments. 

The Portuguese government formally invited Shoalhaven City Council to attend.

The Shoalhaven already has a reputation for innovation in this area, and council is exploring the possibility of gathering a core group of local industry leaders to attend the conference.

Economic development manager Greg Pullen said council would like to support the local industry in thinking beyond simply growing a product and concentrate on possible markets and new uses for their products.

“For example, the local region has enormous potential for growth in industries involving algae and seaweed,” he said.

“These products are already used in areas as diverse as cosmetics, fuel, medicine and food.”

Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash is keen to attend the conference, and will pay her own way.

“The Shoalhaven has key people with expert knowledge who are keen to see the industry develop locally,” she said.

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