Bhubaneswar : As per the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, the Blue Economy is defined as a “subset of the national economy comprising the entire system of oceanic resources and man-made economic infrastructure in marine, maritime, and onshore coastal zones within India’s legal jurisdiction. These resources aid in the production of goods and services and are closely linked to economic growth, environmental sustainability, and national security.”
In India, significant activities within the Blue Economy include fisheries and aquaculture, ports and shipping, marine and coastal tourism, marine biotechnology, IT-driven marine innovation, and deep-seabed mining of polymetallic nodules for strategic metals such as Nickel and Cobalt, among others. CSIR Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT) has actively engaged in developing technologies for processing Polymetallic Nodules and has successfully demonstrated the technology for extracting essential commodity metals like Copper, battery metals Nickel and Cobalt, and Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD). Currently, CSIR IMMT is advancing these technologies to expand the product portfolio, with a specific focus on battery applications and their impact on energy and emissions.
As part of the One Week One Lab program at CSIR-IMMT, Day 4 is dedicated to the theme “Blue Economy” – a one-day conclave designed to promote sustainable approaches and technology development efforts aimed at harnessing oceanic resources primarily on deep sea minerals exploration and processing. The conclave will be attended by representatives from key sectors of the blue economy, including deep-sea mining and extractive metallurgy of seabed minerals, energy resources, and fisheries. The program includes keynote addresses, invited talks, and panel discussions featuring special invitees and prominent personalities. Directors from National laboratories, including CSIR-NIO in Goa, NIOT in Chennai, CSIR-CGCRI in Kolkata, CSIR-CRRI in New Delhi, and CSIR-CECRI in Karaikudi, participated in the event. Dr. Sandip Kumar Mukhopadhyay from the MoES, distinguished experts in seabed minerals, ocean energy, and various industry and academia leaders, was a part of the Blue Economy event. The event is spearheaded by Dr. Ramanuj Narayan, Director CSIR IMMT, with Dr. Kali Sanjay, Chief Scientist & Head, Hydro & Electrometallurgy and project leader of the polymetallic nodules metallurgy program, acting as the chairperson. The conclave is open to all registered delegates, including an opportunity to visit the poster exhibition and the seabed minerals extractive metallurgy pilot plant facilities at CSIR-IMMT.
Chief Guest Prof. Sunil Kumar Singh, Director, CSIR-NIO, Goa, said, “We all know the importance of the ocean. Our important eco system depends on the ocean. We should use sustainable resources that come from the ocean. The blue economy is not only related to the ocean. The government is also accounting for the blue economy”.
Guest of Honour Dr. G. A. Ramadass, Director, NIOT,Chennai said “ I am deeply honored and privileged to be present here today. As our population continues to expand, the available resources are not keeping pace. In such a situation to ensure sustainability we essentially have two options: one is to obtain more resources from the land and utilize them efficiently, and the other is to explore the resources within our oceans. It’s worth noting that approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, while the remaining 30% of the land has provided for us for thousands of years. Just imagine the potential of what that vast 70% of the world’s oceans can offer us.”
Guest of Honour Prof. M. Parida, Director, CSIR-CRRI, New Delhi placed his words, “We maintain a close collaboration with IMMT, particularly in two projects: one involving red marl-aluminum waste and the other focusing on fero. These projects are centered on finding ways to utilize mineral waste for the betterment of the road sector. Presently, we have successfully incorporated mineral waste into our CRRI projects, which are scattered across various regions of the country. I extend my gratitude to IMMT and offer my congratulations for the invaluable platform they have established in support of the blue economy”
Guest of Honour Dr. (Mrs) Suman K. Mishra, Director, CSIR-CGCRI, Kolkata said, “The blue economy represents a significantly vital sector. Globally, around 75% of trade relies on maritime routes, and there is still ample room for its growth and enhancement. Our nation is uniquely positioned as it is surrounded by oceans, which not only provide livelihoods but also boosts the country’s economy. Trade and tourism associated with the oceans generate employment opportunities. Moreover, the oceans also offer food, as well as a wealth of resources and minerals that contribute to the pharmaceutical industry. Extensive research and development efforts are being undertaken to ensure sustainability. Hence, it is of utmost importance to utilize these resources wisely and responsibly”.
Guest of Honour, Dr. K. Ramesha, Director, CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi said, “IMMT has been dedicatedly conducting extensive research on minerals and materials,both basic and application oriented, encompassing mineral processing to metal extraction. Recognizing the significance of the blue economy for India, I am hopeful that we can responsibly explore our oceans, thereby contributing to the Indian economy and fostering self-reliance. While the other countries have made commendable strides in this field, the key distinction lies in our capacity for scalability. I suggest research institutions to collaborate and collectively address this challenge”.
Dr. Ramanuj Narayan, Director CSIR IMMT elaborated, “Orissa, a state abundant in natural resources and minerals, plays a crucial role in meeting the increasing demand for minerals due to growing population. The Ministry of Earth Science has been instrumental in this endeavor. As a mineral institute, our most valuable resource will be derived from the ocean. The collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Science and CSR-IMMT, along with the planned project, is destined to make history. “One Week One Lab” serves as a platform where all ministries and industry partners can unite to explore the vast resources found in our oceans. I extend my gratitude to all the visionaries who are dedicated to advancing the blue economy, which is precisely what our country needs. Thank you all”.