FlexFunction2Sustain – Open Innovation Test Bed launched on 1st April to boost innovations for sustainable plastic and paper products to reach the market faster.
Plastic and paper based materials are used in a wide range of daily life products. Applications represent well established multi-billion Euro markets (e. g. food and pharma packaging, furniture surfaces, membrane-based filter systems, medical products etc.). New business opportunities will arise from replacing glass and metal by nano-functionalized plastic or paper surfaces in many products. That allows the reduction in weight and cost and gains in mechanical flexibility together with additional properties. State-of-the-art solutions often rely on composite or multi-layer materials. Such composites, however, have a major drawback with respect to their environmental footprint: they are neither fully recyclable nor compostable/degradable.
On April 1st, the EU-funded initiative FlexFunction2Sustain was launched. Many innovations come from the urgent need to reduce plastic waste in the world addressing novel polymer formulations (bio-based, bio-degradable) and novel product designs. However, startups or SMEs with innovative ideas usually have limited financial resources and limited access to technical facilities for material development and pilot production capacities. The 19 European partners of FlexFunction2Sustain have set themselves the goal of overcoming these hurdles by creating an Open Innovation Testbed (OITB) for the nanofunctionalization of plastic and paper surfaces with a central contact point. In addition, the partners focus on six specific industrial applications where the technical facility of OITB is aligned.
You can find out more about the project, its partners and the OITB in the current press release.