Prepping bio-based nanomaterials for the market

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An open call issued by an EU-backed project is giving SMEs and other companies the chance to make their bio-based technologies and solutions market-ready. 

Spanish plastics technology company AIMPLAS has announced that its reactive extrusion pilot line is ready to produce bio-based nanomaterials for agricultural and food packaging solutions. The pilot line is part of the EU-funded BIOMAC project, whose Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) ecosystem offers the opportunity for technologies and solutions using nano-enabled bio-based materials to be upscaled and prepared for market applications. Following 2 years of development, BIOMAC is now making its services available to European SMEs and other stakeholders in the bio-nanomaterials sector. 

The OITB ecosystem offers technological and market-oriented services spanning the entire value chain through four hubs. The pilot plant hub consists of 17 pilot lines developed by BIOMAC for upscaling bio-based technologies. Project partner AIMPLAS runs the 11th pilot line, which is a reactive extrusion line for polymerising polylactic acid (PLA) and its copolymers and producing PLA-based nanocomposites. 

Added to the pilot plant hub are the validation hub, the value chain assessment hub and the market uptake hub. Services offered through the validation hub are quality control and characterisation, standardisation assessment, and process validation and modelling. The value chain hub focuses on sustainability assessment, supply management smoothness and adherence to circular economy principles. Last, the market uptake hub’s services address a technology’s business, legal and data handling issues through data and innovation management, health and safety, and regulation analysis services. 

As reported in the project blog, the AIMPLAS pilot line is being used in two different test cases within the BIOMAC project. For the agricultural sector, it is developing PLA-based masterbatches with nanoparticles for mulching applications, as well as PLA copolymers for injection moulding applications. In the sphere of food packaging solutions, it is being used to develop PLA nanocomposite formulations for blown film applications. 

Opportunities for bio-nanomaterial companies 

Having validated its pilot lines through five internal test cases in the automotive, agricultural, food packaging, construction and printed electronics fields, the project has issued an open call for expressions of interest. Launched on 15 December 2022, the open call is aimed at SMEs, start-ups, research and technology companies, and midcaps interested in developing their bio-nanomaterial projects within BIOMAC’s OITB ecosystem for free. The aim is to select five additional test cases (e.g. textiles, medical-biomedical, tissue engineering, single use items) utilising bio-nanomaterials. 

Test case proposals must be submitted for preliminary evaluation by 30 April 2023. However, the final cut-off date for submissions is 15 June 2023. The selected test cases will be implemented from September 2023 to December 2024. The BIOMAC (European Sustainable Biobased nano Materials Community (BIOMAC)) project’s online presentation of the open call is available here. 

(According to: CORDIS: https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/442734-prepping-bio-based-nanomaterials-for-the-market 

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