Pilot plant networks of Bionanopolys – an overview

You are looking for a one-stop shop for the development of nano-enabled biomaterials for packaging, textile, agriculture, cosmetics, pharma or food with high quality and sustainability? In this case the Single Entry Point of the Bionanopolys Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) might be the right choice for you. Read the following article and get an overview of our pilot plant network all over Europe!

For the sake of our planet we urgently need appropriate alternatives to replace fossil-based materials. It’s not a matter of a lack of ideas but the challenge to meet the product requirements is immense. Novel biomaterials from non-fossil-based resources must offer functional properties for large scale applications and need to perform even better than their fossil-based counterparts to drive their adoption by industry and end users. Apart from that, there is also the question mark of price. At the moment, nothing can beat the price of fossil-based materials.
How to make a change and where to set the right cornerstones for a visible impact in this matter?

Bio-based material innovations wanted!

With the call for “Open Innovation Test Beds for nano-enabled bio-based materials” the European Commission has set a significant sign to drive forward the development in this field. Four OITB projects are currently working on this topic now:

  • BIOMAC: European Sustainable BIObased nanoMAterials Community
  • BIOMAT: An Open Innovation Test Bed for nano-enabled bio-based PUR foams and composites
  • INN-PRESSME: Open innovation ecosystem for sustainable plant-based nano-enabled biomaterials deployment for packaging, transport and consumer goods
  • Bionanopolys: OITB for developing safe nano-enabled bio-based materials and polymer bionanocomposites for multifunctional and new advanced applications.

All of these OITBs have in common that they are establishing a network of pilot plants with additional technical and economical services, where industrial partners (eg SMEs) can validate their own ideas holistically. The OITB environments will help to accelerate the introduction of novel bio-based materials into the market by providing single entry points where users can take advantage of.

Spoilt for choice?

Lots of options, but which one will be the right for the implementation of your own idea? First of all, all OITBs are working in close contact and an overview of the different objectives was discussed in a joint workshop quite recently (Link to presentations and recording). All OITBs are dedicated to the development of nano-enabled biomaterials and their service portfolios include a holistic set of supportive services, such as business and innovation management, validation services, legal consultancy, etc. to speed up the introduction of novel materials into the market. But despite the obvious overlaps, there are also some differences. OITBs under this call use different raw materials from biomass, which are used for nanocomposites and end up in various end products for different industry sectors.

Features when choosing Bionanopolys

In the case of Bionanopolys the pilot plant network for raw materials is exploring biomass for the production of

  • cellulose nanofibers, cellulose nanocrystals, nanolignins,
  • block copolymers
  • metallic nanoparticles (enzymatically obtained) and
  • functional nanocapsules

that can be further processed to bionanocomposites (pilot plant network 2). In particular, the modification and functionalization of nanomaterials is an important topic here, that leads into the development of thermoplastics or biobased nanodispersions.

The bionanoproducts at the end of the value chain (pilot plant network 3) serve different industry sectors like for example, packaging, textile, construction, or cosmetics industries. The pilot plants of Bionanopolys in this network explores the production of rigid and flexible packaging, textiles and non-woven fabrics, foam applications, cellulosic products, 3D printing or coating applications.

Like all OITBs the services are not only limited to technical ones. A clear benefit of making use of a single entry point such as Bionanopolys is the availability of additional “out of the box” services that help to make your ideas well-rounded. At Bionanopolys users will be advised in terms of legal aspects (patenting, IPR management), safety assessment, economic assessment, sustainability assessment, fund raising, business modelling and standardization.

The project Bionanopolys is developing all of these technical & business services in the frame of a funded EU project and will validate its service portfolio in the frame of an open call (2023) where interested users can submit their ideas. Stay tuned and take part!