A locally-operated biotech company in Tromsø, Norway, partnering with multiple research institutions to provide high-skilled jobs. Their product, PreCardix®, is a certified and proven blood-pressure treatment made from refined marine by-products.
This profile is part of our ongoing Sustainable Arctic Opportunities Series, in which we partnered with the Arctic Economic Council to profile businesses and projects in the Arctic which represent active or recent investment opportunities, while demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability. These profiles are just a sample of the vast spectrum of innovative and responsible businesses and organizations operating in the Arctic region. By presenting these businesses and letting them explain in their own words how they contribute to the region, we hope to show the breadth of opportunity and the enormous potential of the Arctic where, with a deep commitment to sustainability and respect for the environment, businesses and development projects can contribute positively to the communities that live there and the stewardship of this most spectacular area of our planet.
Organization name: Marealis AS
Company headquarters: Tromsø, Norway
Sector/Industry: Biotechnology – Consumer Goods
Organization type: Private
Project name: Sustainable Blue Value Creation
Project location: Kårvikhamn / Tromsø, Norway
Markets served: Natural health product markets in North America and eventually worldwide;
UN Sustainable Development Goals fulfilled:
Project ownership/key stakeholders: Marealis AS
Project website: www.precardix.com/about
Marealis AS is a B-Corp certified Norwegian biotech company committed to developing, producing, and commercializing sustainable, high quality products from marine by-products. Marealis converts cold-water prawn shells (Pandalus borealis), historically a waste by-product, into a clinically proven bioactive marine peptide concentrate with significant blood pressure lowering attributes. Building on parent company Stella Polaris’ industrial competence and after more than 50 years of industrial experience, Marealis will leverage its unique competence within marine by-product R&D and innovation by creating new products from various marine species and establishing an Innovation Centre for Marine by-products. The bioprocess facility will contain production lines for marine byproducts like shrimp shells and fish skin/heads into refined bioactive peptide concentrates, and high quality collagen and flavor ingredients. The facility aims to operate in close cooperation with educational institutions and other industries to share knowledge and increase value creation.
Marealis AS seeks funding to support sustainable marine biotechnology innovation in the Arctic region. Over the next five years, four Marealis projects will contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals and growth in the Arctic region. These include: commercialization of our product and brand PreCardix® in North America; market expansion of PreCardix® in Europe, Asia and Africa; new product innovation; and the establishment of a state-of-the-art innovation park and bio-processing production facility in the Arctic region. The above initiatives directly impact global health and well-being, quality education, decent work, economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and life below water.
Annual project revenue: Projected 2021: US$500k / Anticipated 2026: US$5 -10m
Turnover: Projected 2021: US$500k / Anticipated 2026: US$5-10m
Total assets in Arctic: Current assets: US$500k / Projected: US$15m
Total staff in Arctic: Current staff: 4 / Projected staff: 20-25
Project timeline: 5 years
Total Project Cost: US$25-40m
Project funding sources: Private and public
Investment needed/received: US$20-30m
Funding method desired: Equity
Project status: Proposed
Investment spending breakdown:
What are your project’s biggest positive contributions to the Arctic, at the regional or local level?
Marealis will contribute to achieving several UN sustainable development goals in the arctic region, specifically quality education, decent work, economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and life below water. Marealis diverts 100% of its marine by-products from prawn production into commercially viable ingredients and products. The establishment of a state-of-the-art innovation park and bioprocessing production facility allows Marealis to scale and evolve its innovation and efficiency. The facility will also create jobs, growth, contribute to responsible and sustainable fishing practices and consumption, and provide internship and research partnership opportunities for students. Investment in PreCardix® will help Marealis grow revenue and contribute to the viability of the new production facility.
How does your project help develop human capital in the communities where it’s located?
Marealis AS intends to establish an Arctic-based state-of-the-art facility for bioprocessing to support its business strategy. This will help to develop human capital as the facility will attract highly-educated professionals across many disciplines including R&D and biotechnology. The facility will, therefore, contribute to significant innovation, technology, and job opportunities. Individuals would then have an environment where they can acquire new competencies, develop skills and apply innovative ideas. The facility will be the first industrial facility for bio-processing in the Arctic region of Norway .
How does your project balance economic and social goals with environmental protection?
The foundation of the Marealis AS business strategy is to leverage underutilized resources (marine by-products) from the seafood industry to create high-value products and brands with specific health benefits. Marealis is already a leader in sustainable marine by-product sourcing and helps solve global health issues such as hypertension through its products. Marealis is one of only 4,000 certified B-Corporations globally. B-corporations must pass a rigorous certification process based on the world’s highest social and environmental performance standards and accountability standards. The Stella Polaris Group (including Marealis) has been working with UN Global Compact in a program to optimize sustainability, and has initiated a collaboration with Seacirc to pilot a reporting system for sustainability and environmental optimization. Marealis also plans to partner with the Arctic University of Norway and governmental institutions to support students and research projects within fishery, science and biotech in Norway. Marealis will continue to leverage its unique knowledge and expertise gained through the development and commercialization of PreCardix® to become a leading innovator in unique, groundbreaking products and brands utilizing marine by-products in the Arctic region of Norway.
How have you partnered with the research community in measuring project processes and impacts?
Marealis worked closely with governmental research institutions and universities to develop its unique and groundbreaking blood pressure-lowering peptide concentrate. Both the UiT Arctic University of Norway and Nofima – the Norwegian Institution of Fishery and Science hold strong academic and professional competence within the marine industry and R&D. These partnerships were fundamental to Marealis historically and remain essential for the future. When establishing the innovation park, Marealis plans to partner with the Arctic University of Norway and governmental institutions to provide learning and collaboration opportunities for students and research projects within fishery, science and biotech in Norway. Marealis will continue to leverage its unique knowledge and expertise gained through the development and commercialization of PreCardix® to become a leading innovator in unique, groundbreaking products and brands utilizing marine by-products in the Arctic region of Norway.
How have you entered into public/private partnerships with the local community and/or government?
Marealis partnered with governmental research institutions and local universities to develop its unique and groundbreaking blood pressure-lowering peptide concentrate. Both the Arctic University of Norway, which has played an advisory role throughout the development of the peptide concentrate, and the Norwegian Institution of Fishery and Science, who presented the scientific idea to help us recreate the findings, ensure reproducibility, and scale it to production, hold strong academic and professional competence within the marine industry and R&D. These relationships played a significant role for Marealis historically and will remain important in the future. Marealis continues to leverage its unique competence within R&D gained from the development of PreCardix® to support future R&D and product development with other marine species. Marealis and parent company Stella Polaris AS have formed close and valuable collaborations with other local companies in the seafood industry, such as Brødrene Karlsen AS and Wilsgård AS, which hold large quantities of products from cod fish and salmon.
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This profile was assembled for the Arctic Economic Council by the Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with funds provided by the Nordic Investment Bank.