ECOFUNCO successfully hosts its first workshop on bio-based materials research
On 16 June 2021, ECOFUNCO project partners contributed to the first workshop on bio-based materials research. The purpose was to share with the interested stakeholders the expertise gained by the partners during the project research activities. Moreover, the project gave space to a sibling project, BIOnTop, and to some representatives of the ECOFUNCO advisory board.
Meanwhile, you can also read the following summary of the workshop day.
The workshop was opened by Mrs. Ana Cuadrado Galván, ECOFUNCO project officer from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking, who gave an insight on how the BBI and the European Commission are supporting the change towards a more sustainable economy.
After Mrs. Cuadrado Galván, Dr. Patrizia Cinelli, ECOFUNCO project coordinator, gave a comprehensive overview of the ECOFUNCO project, also explaining the importance and advantages of bio-based coating.
During the workshop, the floor was given to research organizations and industries In order to illustrate how important is the collaboration amongst research organizations and companies in order to redefine value chains towards circularity.
Dr. Serena Chierici from SSICA presented the processes of the recovery of added value molecules from agro-wastes to apply as coating for the food packaging. The discussion on molecules extraction was then followed by the insight on Microwave and Ultrasound Assisted Extraction by Dr. Maria del Carmen Garrigós from the University of Alicante. Dr. Ipsita Roy illustrated application of microbial cellulose developed at the University of Sheffield.
After the coffee break, the discussion followed the molecules extraction and application as bio-based coating. Dr. Serena Danti from INSTM introduced biological data on chitin, while Dr. Ahdi Hadrich and Dr. Mahmoud Hamzaoui from CELABOR presented properties and applications of supercritical carbon dioxide. Mrs. Paula Goderbauer (Fraunhofer IVV) introduced protein-based coatings as a possible solution to face the food packaging challenges. Dr. Francesca Braca from ARCHA presented the processes of assessment of the end of life of materials.
After those presentations, it was the time for the related project BIOnTop to be presented: Mr. Christian Schulz (BionTop, EUBP) introduced an overview on BIOnTop activities and expected results, while Mr. Erik Sauter (BionTop, ASU) explained the advances of chemical grafting onto whey protein-based films. Mr. Willem Uyttendeale (BionTop, Centexbel) continued the overview on the activities carried out at BIOnTop with an introduction on waterbased PHA dispersions for coatings and prints.
After the lunch break, ECOFUNCO partners continued sharing their expertise in different fields. Mr. Andreas Michalsky from Huhtamaki held a presentation on the requests for packaging in current EU-policy and customers expectations for sustainable packaging, in relation with sustainability aspects, while Mr. Simone Giangrandi from LUCENSE shared information about current situation and forecast on paper-based packaging sustainability and recyclability. To close the contributions from ECOFUNCO partners, Dr. Davide Moscatelli presented the approach to sustainability in Organik Kymia.
Next on, the floor was given to the ECOFUNCO advisory board: Dr. María Josefa López López introduced an overview on bio-recycling routes for agri-food waste plastics, together with a presentation of the BBI JU Recover Project. To conclude the workshop, we moved to Argentina in order to catch the intervention of Dr. Vera Álvarez (University of Mar del Plata), presenting insights on chitosan properties and potential, also against Covid-19.
Dr. Patrizia Cinelli, coordinator of ECOFUNCO Project, concluded the event highlighting the importance of sharing different activities and approaches to the valorization of biomass amongst different BBI JU and European research projects, in order to stimulate further research and future collaborations. She also anticipated that ECOFUNCO will organize another workshop in January, more focused on industry.
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837863. The JU received support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium.