WILMINGTON — The 2015 BioMarine Business Conference will be held in Wilmington from Oct. 12-14, the first time the convention comes to the United States. BioMarine says North Carolina was selected due to its status as one of the top three biotechnology states in the country.

BioMarine officials selected North Carolina following a February 2013 visit to the various marine and event locations in Wilmington, as well as to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center headquarters in Research Triangle Park (RTP).

The state of North Carolina claims more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline and 12,000 miles of estuarine shoreline. In addition, the state boasts several world-renowned research universities with programs related to marine sciences, as well as more than 600 biotech companies employing more than 60,000 people statewide.

BioMarine, which is an investment platform dedicated to marine bio resources, says Wilmington, in particular, is leading North Carolina’s marine biotech industry with the help of the Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation (MBCOI) based in the city. MBCOI facilitates the development of marine-related discoveries to benefit North Carolina’s economic growth.

Senior executives, top experts and other dignitaries will address the attendees throughout the two-day meeting, which features live-streamed sessions, workshops, and extensive networking opportunities through one-to-one pre-scheduled business meetings and social events. New this year is a track dedicated to promoting investment in innovative small/medium enterprises.

The opportunities for the application of marine biotech assets are wide reaching, including aquaculture, animal feed, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, fuel/energy, waste remediation, bioplastics and more. During the convention, 300 international investors, business leaders and government officials will meet to consider investment in and commercialization of these assets, particularly biomass bioconversion for protein, oil and mineral recovery.

The BioMarine industry is actively developing solutions to address the imminent shortage of protein. Today, vegetable protein from micro algae and seaweed extract feeds not only the aquaculture industry, but also the poultry, pork and cattle industries.

Discussions will specifically focus on advancing sustainable ocean harvesting and addressing the growing demand for protein. Delegations from Saudi Arabia, Norway, Scotland, Canada, France and the United States are expected to attend, among others.

The convention will take place at Union Station on the campus of Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), located at 502 N Front St.

Keynote speakers and panelists will be announced upon confirmation at a later date. For more information, see the preliminary conference program here: http://www.biomarine.org/wilmington2015/program/.