A cluster of EU Horizon Europe projects is uniting to transform the use of bio-based materials across various sectors. Comprising six pioneering projects – AMBIANCE, BIOUPTAKE, GREENLOOP, NEWWAVE, VITAL, and WASTE2BIOCOMP – each project brings its unique focus, expertise, and ambition to the table.
Let’s have a focus on the projects:
AMBIANCE is focused on placing innovative bio-based products at the forefront of various sectors, particularly in green urban areas. This EU-funded project will employ a circularity-by-design approach to develop advanced bio-based products and optimize their mechanical properties and manufacturing processes, incorporating digital twin technologies. AMBIANCE’s target use cases include artificial turf, outdoor furniture, and construction bricks.
BIOUPTAKE aims to increase the adoption of bioplastic composites by 39%. It focuses on developing flexible manufacturing processes for bio-based end products in construction, medical, and packaging sectors. This innovative approach combines intermediate formats made of natural and biobased synthetic fibers reinforced with biopolymers. Notably, it employs modularity or pre-fabrication for enhanced sustainability. Use cases encompass feet insoles, garbage container lids, and ceilings for pre-fabricated bathroom pods.
GREENLOOP is dedicated to enhancing bio-based materials production by innovating manufacturing tools, boosting energy efficiency, and ensuring sustainable value chains. It aims to design and optimize three bio-based materials and components for various sectors under a circular-business perspective. Monitoring and evaluation are integral through a virtual platform, which also facilitates real-time business optimization and engagement. GREENLOOP’s focus areas include fire-resistant and vibrational materials, bottle closures, and sliding bearing testing.
NEWWAVE focuses on sustainable raw materials obtained from biomass fractionation, aiming to replace toxic chemicals in manufacturing. This includes the conversion of biomass residues into valuable bio-based materials. It introduces innovative products for the construction industry, such as wood-based structural components and medium-density fiberboard (MDF), among others. Use cases involve engineered wood panels, furan-based chemicals, polyols/polyurethanes, and modified/engineered wood.
VITAL addresses the environmental challenges associated with synthetic polymers. This project aims to facilitate the substitution of synthetic thermoplastics with bio-based alternatives. Researchers will develop novel foaming processes and digital control systems to streamline thermoplastic processing. Use cases for VITAL include 3D foam printing, bead/autoclave foaming, and foam injection molding.
WASTE2BIOCOMP focuses on the production of bio-based products and materials to replace those with a significant environmental footprint. This project covers all stages of a product’s life cycle, including research and innovation activities, smart manufacturing technologies, and smart inkjet printing techniques. It ensures full circularity of materials, addresses end-of-life approaches, sustainability, and toxicity assessments. Use cases encompass shoe soles and insoles, plastic films and packages, bio-based textiles, and printed substrates.
Beyond their individual objectives, these projects will collaborate in several areas such as communication, exploitation, dissemination, open science, and network development.
The cluster places a strong emphasis on effective communication, ensuring that insights, progress, and results are shared with stakeholders, policymakers, and the wider public to raise awareness and garner support. The projects will collaborate on strategies to exploit their innovations, identify commercialization opportunities, and manage intellectual property. Dissemination of knowledge is key, actively sharing research findings and best practices to accelerate the adoption of bio-based materials. Open science principles foster collaboration, transparency, and innovation, while network development connects with research initiatives, industry partners, and stakeholders to advance the field collectively.
By pooling their expertise and resources in these key areas, we aspire to accelerate the transition to more sustainable and eco-friendly materials across various industries!