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H2020 - FNR-11-2020: SMEs for scale up polymer production and business development experts sought.

Country of Origin: Slovenia
Reference Number: RDSI20191209001
Publication Date: 9 December 2019


A Slovenian research organization is coordinator of a proposal for H2020 call "FNR-11-2020 Prospecting aquatic and terrestrial natural biological resources for biologically active compounds" with the aim of developing prototypes from compounds isolated from marine and freshwater microorganisms to be used as compounds for various industries. To complete the consortium, companies are needed for scale up production and for business development, bridging the gap between R&D and commercialization.


Slovenian research institute is an experienced project partner and leader. The institute has participated in over 50 international projects in the last 10 years. A smaller research group within the institute is actively engaged into marine biotechnology sector with the overall mission to become a significant partner for research and development of novel compounds originating from marine biomass. 

Marine and freshwater environments are underexplored and unexploited. It is estimated that only 1% of marine microorganisms is known today, mainly due to the limitations in cultivating them under sterile laboratory conditions. Moreover, microorganisms in nature never exist as pure cultures, hence it is difficult to mimic the natural conditions that would allow the growth of microbial cultures in artificial, laboratory environments. Where provided with a functional substrate, these microorganisms form biofilms and synthesize polymers with advantageous properties for the food, feed, pharma and other industries. The identity and structure of many of these polymers is still unknown.

Starting from the microbial biodiversity and the chemical diversity of the compounds they synthesize, the overall project idea is to isolate polymers and develop the prototypes for use in important industrial sectors: novel drug / feed delivery mechanisms, anti-biofouling compounds and possibly also novel packaging biomaterial.

Research and development activities planned in the project proposal are:
• identification and use of novel microbial sources from marine and freshwater ecosystems around Europe;
• identification and isolation of biotechnologically relevant chemical compounds;
• polymerization and prototyping of compound production;
• identification of target areas for use of novel compounds (drug delivery, feed, packaging, anti-biofouling);
• scale up technology for industrially relevant quantities (partners needed);
• prototype finalization (partners needed)
• business and IPR development and market search (partners needed).

When developing the technologies it is often important to bridge the communication and collaboration gap between science-technology-industry-policy making.

Hence, partners with expertise to bridge this gap are sought:
- business development companies and
- scale up production companies
to join the project consortium under research cooperation agreement.

The consortium currently has enough academic partners and the participation of SMEs with relevant expertise and skills to the project idea (business development, prototyping and scale-up technology) is needed.

Deadline for expressions of interest: 23.12.2019
Deadline of the call: 22.01.2020 (first stage)

Stage Of Development

Proposal under development

Stage Of Development Comment

The draft proposal is under development.

Requested partner

- Type of partner sought: SMEs
- Specific area of activity of the partner sought:
1. scale up production technologies (validation of laboratory production to guarantee quantities)
2. business development

- Field of expertise/experience:
1. polymer production
2. market search, legal obligations, IPR

- Task to be performed by the partner sought:
1.1 Scale up production of 1-2 selected polymers and their application in target industries (packaging, drug delivery, feed delivery, anti-biofouling compounds)
1.2. prototyping
2. business development case study scenarios, market analysis in European countries, LCA, IPR contracts within the consortium

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests