“The Science We Need For The Ocean We Want”


We are on the threshold of a new and exciting era of discovery in the oceans that will shape the development of human endeavours for decades to come. New insights on the significance of the microscopic scale of ocean life has shown this level affects almost every aspect of our lives (health, food, industry, ecosystems). For society’s future, we need to investigate the science of marine microbiomes, integrate the novel technologies discovered and initiate policies that foster truly sustainable marine development.

The United Nations will dedicate the next decade to Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – “The Science we need for the Ocean we want” (https://oceandecade.org).  The Decade’s vision and mission are consistent with the objective of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research & Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) that is to “advance the shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and treasured, to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of the Atlantic for present and future generations”.

The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable resource shared by all Atlantic nations, and beyond. It requires effective cooperation in marine research and innovation to inform the sustainable management of human activities, and to ensure a healthy ocean for the communities that depend on it now and in the future.



This forum, initially founded under the Galway Agreement as the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Marine Microbiome Working Group, has evolved as the need for collaborative, integrated marine science across the Atlantic has led to new international agreements. Signed in 2022, the All Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) includes signatories from the north and south from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The broadening of the international agreements lead AORA MMWG members to reach out to collaborate with microbiome-focused researchers in the south, mainly through collaborations with the All Atlantic Biotechnology Initiative (AA-BIOTECMAR). In 2021, the AORA MMWG became part of the UN Ocean Decade with the “Observing and Promoting Atlantic Microbiomes” Project as part of the Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network Programme. Today, the forum is associated with the AAORIA and has renamed itself the Blue Biotechnology and Marine Microbiome Forum, recognizing the role microbiomes will play in the development of blue biotechnology solutions to challenges facing our oceans today.

Since its inception, the BBAMM forum has focused on building a network of marine microbiome researchers and disseminating knowledge about the important role microbiomes play in the functioning of the oceans. We recognize that microbiomes are the drivers of biogeochemical cycles in the oceans, that microbiomes form the base of the ocean food webs and that microbiomes have diverse metabolic potential that could be leveraged to address a wide range of challenges, from treating diseases, increasing food production and addressing pollution. Through efforts of microbiome researchers, the MMWG was able to develop a road map which highlights critical needs in marine microbiome research. As we continue to educate other ocean researchers, governments, industry and the general public on the importance and value of marine microbiomes to a healthy, sustainable Atlantic Ocean, we invite interested individuals to join us and help share our vision of integrated, international microbiome research.