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A recent press release deals with project SPECIAL, focusing on sponge farming in Alassio. Here GAIA is running an experimental pilot plant focusing on Chondrilla nucula and Chondrosia reniformis (in the frame of WP3 "Sponge Mariculture - collagen production"). This work is funded by the European Commission (FP7 Grant Agreement 266033) and wouldn't be possible without the support by: Municipality of Alassio, Centre for Environmental Education of Imperia, Sesto Continente diving centre, InfoRmare association, Portofino Marine Protected Area. Biomolecular and structural studies are done in cooperation with other project partners, including the University of Genoa.