ValorMar united National companies and investors

From the creation of high-added value marine snacks or smoked fish to the development of new tools for aquaculture, the ‘ValorMar’ mobilizing project, which ran from October 2017 to July 2021, developed a set of innovative solutions based on scientific knowledge and aligned with market needs and trends. The project’s results were presented last month, at the Leixões Cruise Terminal in Matosinhos.

The ‘ValorMar’ mobilizing project brought together, for four years, 16 national companies and 13 entities of the Portuguese R&D [Research & Development] system and also the ‘Fórum Oceano - Cluster do Mar Português’ (Cluster of the Portuguese Sea), in a project aimed at the development of innovative products, processes and services that enhance the valorisation of marine resources through the integration of value chains, and in line with the decarbonisation, digitization and circularity strategies of the economy.

Structured around four main action axes, the first focused on the development of new food formulations, using pioneering combinations of marine resources, including micro and macro algae, giving rise to new nutritionally rich and healthier products, such as pâtés, canned meals and snacks, with clean label formulations and the use of Salicornia instead of salt, for example. New sustainable packaging were also designed and strategies were studied and tested to prolong the shelf life of fish preparations, with a view to fighting food waste – such as high pressure processing and the application of natural compounds or edible coatings of extracts with antimicrobial action.

In the second axis, dedicated to the needs and opportunities for aquaculture companies, digital tools were developed that allow obtaining a series of indicators for decision-making in areas as diverse as water, food, stocks and adaptation to climate changes management.

A third axis worked the concept of marine bio-refinery, having been analysed and obtained extracts from macro and micro algae with antioxidant activities, for example, for application in animal and human food, as well as functional ingredients for new cosmetic formulations and adsorbents for environmental remediation.

The fourth axis of the project focused on the development of a technological platform that integrates data from different agents in the fish value chain, facilitating the traceability process and allowing the final consumer to access this information at the time of purchase - origin of the fish, capture mode, etc. Currently, at the Antas’ Continente store, consumers can already have access to aggregated and more complete information about the product they intend to purchase.

’ValorMar’ represents the collective will to invest in such a resource, as identity defining to the country as the sea is, and take advantage of the best it has to give us. For almost half a decade, and with an investment of around €8M, dozens of new products and solutions were developed, that the market and consumers will benefit from, directly or indirectly, as a result of a cooperative innovation environment, which would hardly be possible if each entity were to work only individually”, explains Marlos Silva, Director of R&D Projects at Sonae MC.

The project was co-financed by the Research and Technological Development Incentive System under the Portugal 2020 program.

About ‘ValorMar’

The ‘ValorMar’ project, led by Sonae MC, integrates 16 companies, 13 entities from the R&D system and one Cluster, ‘Fórum Oceano – Cluster do Mar Português’, with a broad national geographic coverage. ‘ValorMar’ has developed innovative technological solutions that enhance the valorisation and efficient use of marine resources through the integration of value chains, in a circular economy logic, articulating: aquaculture, food industry, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. ‘ValorMar’ had as its general goal the valorisation of marine resources, through research, development and demonstration of new products and the improvement of production processes, proposing innovative solutions for the creation of new healthy food products, using innovative sustainable and efficient technologies. More information at:

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