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Horizon clean air


Identifier: H2020-CleanAir-2015-1
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Type: Call for Proposals
Planned Opening Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017
Deadline: Tue, 23 Jan 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Budget: 3.000.000,00 €


EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland




Find the PDF  DRAFT Programme:   

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UPM ( leads the forest-based bioindustry into a sustainable and innovation-driven future. UPM’s innovations focus on the efficient and responsible use of recyclable and renewable biomass. UPM’s new businesses Biocomposites ( and Biochemicals ( develop new bio-based materials which open new sustainable and responsible business opportunities.

Creating value and replacing fossil-based raw materials

UPM Biochemicals’ offering is divided into four product categories: chemical building blocks, lignin products, biofibrils and biomedical products.

Bio-based chemical building blocks are used for example to substitute oil-based chemicals in plastic production. Wood-based lignin can be used to manufacture bio-based resins replacing fossil-based resins for example in plywood production.

Biofibrils are cellulose-based micro- and nanofibril products that can be used for shaping and reinforcing different materials. They can also be used in new biomedical applications.

GrowDex® an innovative matrix for 3D cell culturing

UPM’s GrowDex® ( ), is an award-winning innovation with great future potential in medical research and other applications. It is a proprietary hydrogel for three dimensional (3D) cell culturing. 3D cell culture is an in vitro technology for advanced cell culture applications. They mimic more closely natural tissues and organs than cells grown in two-dimensional environment (2D). 3D cell culture techniques enable e.g. development of cell based drug and chemical tests and discovery of models and treatment for serious diseases.

The wood cellulose-based nanofibril hydrogel GrowDex® is used for research of different sicknesses, such as cancer. In a recent project researchers investigated how cancer cells from solid tumors grow as a three-dimensional culture in GrowDex® and how they respond to different drugs.

It has turned out that cells which have been cultured in this type of 3D environment can show different drug responses than those that have been cultured in a traditional 2D environment. With some drugs, the cancer cells are sensitive in one or the other condition, not both. In other words, a certain drug only kills cancer cells in a 2D environment but not in the natural 3D environment. The use of more natural, 3D in vitro technologies enables more effective development of cancer and other drugs and even personalized medicine applications.

UPM’s GrowDex® has been recognized as a significant innovation with great future potential. It was awarded the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland innovation prize in 2016. The members of the award winning GrowDex® team come from UPM and the University of Helsinki. The award given to the innovation is also a recognition to UPM for boldly moving into new areas of research and development.

Innovative fossil-free biomaterials and products can end the fossil-based era and help to decarbonize the EU

Lignin, nanocellulose, cross laminated timber, biochemicals, biofuels, wood-based packaging, forest fibre textiles and countless materials and products of biological origin, particularly from forests, can replace a range of fossil and non-renewable materials and products with enhanced energy efficiency or environmental performance. To assume that these so-called biobased materials and products will trigger a paradigm shift is not an overestimate. A bioeconomy age lies ahead.


Read the whole article here


For over a decade, Centexbel, the Belgian research centre for textiles and plastics, is highly involved in the development and implementation of biopolymer fibres and textiles.  Drop-in biopolymers such as Bio-PE or Bio-PET intrinsically have the same properties as their oil-based counterparts and can be implemented with limited technological developments.  

Therefore, our focus lies on new biopolymer types since they offer a real challenge to develop appropriate processing conditions and additive selection and to maximise the specific properties offered by these new polymers such as PLA (PolyLacticAcid), PHA’s (PolyHydroxyAlkanoates), PHB (PolyHydroxyButerate), PBS (PolyButyleneSuccinate), TPS (ThermoPlastic Starches) or PEF (PolyEthyleneFuranoate). At present, PLA is the most economic biopolymer and available in the highest amounts. The majority of the research projects are directed to the use of this biopolymer in textile applications. This is illustrated by 3 European projects, representing our past and present research activities.


“BIOAGROTEX” was one of the first large-scale projects on biopolymers, coordinated by Centexbel. The project aimed at developing fully biobased agrotextiles, exploiting the specific properties of biopolymers such as PLA to be composted after its normal lifetime. To those agrotextiles requiring a guaranteed lifetime of several years, but preferentially have to be composted after reaching its end-of-life, this polymer can offer an attractive solution. In the project we succeeded in defining appropriate grades and processing conditions for production of fibres, monofilaments and tapes, which fulfilled the requirements of the specific applications.

Based on the positive results, several industrial partners launched specific new biobased Agrotextiles into the market; amongst others:
•    DURACOVER® – Bonar Technical fabrics: Woven groundcovers from PLA tapes.
•    HORTAFLEX® –  DS Textiles: needlefelt groundcovers from PLA fibre
•    FILBIO®PLA –Texinov:  Knitted insect screens from PLA monofil

The products have been successfully implemented in the market and a market growth is expected in those countries where public procurement rules define the use of biodegradable or more ecologic, sustainable products, especially in the case of large public projects (railways, highways, public green space, … ).


Example: DURACOVER  from Bonar Technical Fabrics from Bonar Technical Fabrics



Example: DURACOVERExample: HORTAFLEX® from DS Textiles



Example: FILBIO®PLA from Texinov



In a second more recent project, the development of biobased textile products is continued but instead of focussing on biodegradable properties, more durable applications are envisaged. The development looks into the possibilities of spinning yarns from PLA staple fibres, in combination with other natural fibres such as wool or cotton. The yarns will be further processed into fabrics for a variety of high-end clothing applications, including in casual menswear and ladieswear, protective clothing and workwear. Via this route 100% biobased articles will also be generated, avoiding the use of oil-based polyester fibres. It is obvious that in these applications durability and comfort aspects are of a much higher importance than biodegradability.    
This H2020 “Fast-Track-To-Innovation” project, coordinated by Aimplas, joins the expertise of 3 industrial partners representing the different production steps: fibre extrusion, yarn spinning, weaving and confection and is supported by 2 research institutes. Centexbel supports the development of functionalised formulations and the fibre extrusion processes in close collaboration with DS Fibres who has also participated in the Bioagrotex project.
The project was started just recently. The first industrial products into the market are expected in 2019. Further information is provided by the project website:



Spinning and weaving PLA/wool and PLA/Cotton yarns.


The objective of the third example of European projects, BIO4SELF, is to develop a further high-end and durable application of PLA materials. In this project, coordinated by Centexbel, a consortium of 16 research centres and industrial partners, representing the complete value chain, have set themselves the task to improve the PLA filament production to allow the production of novel fully biobased composites using the self-reinforcement technology.
To achieve this goal, high performance nanofibrillar PLA fibres will be developed, with a high tenacity and a higher melting temperature, that can act as reinforcement fibre in the composite. This reinforcement fibre itself is additionally reinforced with a bio-based thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer nanofibrils (bio-LCP) to reach the requested high mechanical properties.
For the matrix, lower melting PLA fibres will be developed and combined with the high melting reinforcement fibres to create hybrid yarns and preforms. These hybrid PLA preforms will be made with different fibre architectures, e.g. chips with short fibres in random orientations, and fabrics with long fibres in controlled orientations.
These intermediates will be further processed by injection moulding or compression moulding routes, to a range of high-level composite products.


Self-reinforced composite obtained by combining a low and high melting PLA grade.

A further goal is to develop self-functionalization of the composite materials, aiming to induce inherent self-cleaning (via photocatalytic fibres), self-healing (via tailored microcapsules) and self-sensing (via deformation detecting fibres) properties. Prototype parts for automotive and home appliances will be developed with the novel materials to demonstrate the broad application potential of the biobased self-reinforced materials.


BIO4SELF requires innovation all along the value chain.

This project example clearly shows that biopolymers are no longer solely used and developed for biodegradable and biobased purposes, but for the highest application levels and that they have the potential to outperform standard oil-based products in some applications.

For further information and updates on the BIO4SELF project, feel free to sign up for the project newsletter at the website:


The projects mentioned above, are only a few examples of the research projects performed at Centexbel in relation to the biobased economy.  Other projects are dealing with alternative biopolymers such as TPS, PBS or PHA. Moreover, our projects not only address extrusion applications but are also evaluating alternative biobased formulations for coating and finishing processes.
Although the introduction of biobased polymers and chemicals in the textile industry is still taking place on a very small scale, we are convinced that this will gradually change in the near future. The ongoing research will surely result in new “eye-catcher” applications within a few years that will boost the implementation of biobased textiles and support the global change towards the biobased economy.


Luc Ruys, Centexbel, Technologypark 7, 9052 Gent, Belgium

One of the most important drivers to electrify traffic and transportation  are  the  zero emission  levels  –  at  least locally  –  of  CO2,  NOx  and  particles.  Another  significant driver  is  the  energy  efficiency  of  electric  vehicle  which is  substantially  better  than  in  conventional  combustion engine powered vehicles. According to some studies the total efficiency of  electric  vehicles  from  well  to  wheel  is three times as good as the total efficiency of  petrol driven vehicles.

The  European  and  national  emission  reduction  target levels for traffic have been set for 2020 and beyond. It is quite obvious that the targets cannot be met without reducing  remarkably  the  use  of  fossil  fuels,  and  shifting  to electric power in transportation and logistics. Similar mindset was also in the background in 2009-2010 when the studies about the meaning and importance of electric cars and electric mobility for Finnish society in the years to come were carried out. The main result of these studies was the identification of business possibilities for Finnish industry in the fields of mobile machinery electrification, vehicle software, charging technology, automotive industry components and electric mobility infrastructure.

All these significant business potentials gave the Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes a good motivation to launch a specific programme in the field of electric mobility in 2011.

The main target of the programme was to create an  electric mobility  ecosystem, that  could  generate  new knowledge and competence in EV related technologies and services. From the very beginning all the development was focused on international business opportunities. The programme wanted to establish contacts also to international programmes and important business actors.The main approach in the EVE programme was to emphasize piloting, testing and demonstration projects.

As firect results of EVE programme roughly ten new start-ups have been founded and existing companies have increased remarkably their business volume in international markets. Two good examples of the startups are Virta Ltd. and Linkker Oy. Both companies were founded during the programme and have already created business outside Finland.  Other good examples are Visedo and Plugit Finland, who both have already created large business on EV related technologies and services.

Check out the programme's final report here










MATCH STGs Seminar & Workshop

15.2.2017, Radisson Park Inn Hotel,
Martelarenlaan 36, Leuven, Belgium



Kick-Off-Meeting of Representatives of the A4M Sector Technical Groups (STGs)

Materials are essential for most of the industrial sectors in Europe. However, they are not of value without their functions and their functions are related to the manufacturing of components and final products. Beside the combination of materials – manufacturing - function it is important to discuss also the relation to Information and Communimage001ication Technologies (ICT) that will be used more and more in the manufacturing of products (industry 4.0), and materials for ICT are crucial to allow cheaper and more effective manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing) in Europe that is competitive to other countries and continents.
The Alliance for Materials (A4M), initiated by a number of ETP’s that have a strong materials agenda and now having as partner also the two important European materials representing societies (Federation of European Materials Societies, FEMS and the European Materials Research Society, E-MRS) will contribute to create the conditions for an effective integration of stakeholders, views and resources in the field of Materials R&D at the EU level.
The aim to create Sector Technical Groups (STG) is to serve as a reference point (“comprehensive expert group”) and transmission chain for Materials R&D issues in the respective sector chosen in a long term. The Horizon 2020 project MATCH is initiator of this new activity in the following fields: Energy, Transport, Construction, Health and Creative Industry, and should contribute to the definition and promotion of proper R&I topic priorities for the respective sectors.
By this they should also identify materials issues that concern the whole value chain approach of MATCH as e.g. problems with supply chains, challenges in maintaining resource & environment or societal challenges, that may hinder or even prevent possible investments into a technology and reduce the chance of marketable innovations.


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The Match Observatory is a strategic vigilance system aimed at identifying and following the adoption by market of the key research and technology developments in materials required to meet the challenges of the 21st century across major industrial sectors. For this we will follow the evolution of market drivers, market value of the innovations and signals of real market acceptance of the innovations, this is basically TRL7, 8 and 9.


For the implementation of the Observatory tree main activities were defined and planned.

  • Planning of the MATCH Observatory
  • Collection of information
  • Dissemination of information

Planning of the MATCH Observatory

During this phase the main activities carried out were definition of KITs (Key Intelligence Topics) and identification of sources of information.

After a review of the strategic literature about the topic, i.e. EuMat Research Agenda or ETPs documents and a number of questionnaire-based phone interviews with EU national and regional actors on materials science a ranked list of topics where the two more voted topics were selected as primary KITs for the Observatory on four of the sectors. For the Health sectors the input of the experts induced us to completely change our selection into 3 new KITs.

  • Construction: 1) Advanced Insulation Materials, 2) Materials for Thermal / Electricity Generation and Storage
  • Energy: 1) Materials for Energy Storage, 2) Materials for High Temperatures
  • Transport: 1) Integration of Materials, 2) Lightweight Metal Materials
  • Creative Industries: 1) Functionalisation of Textile Materials, 2)Integration of Materials
  • Health: 1) Implantable Materials, 2) Tissue Engineering, 3) Diagnostics (and Therapeutics)

The preliminary identification of sources has been made by different means, such as input from partners, input from experts interviews and searches on directories and general search engines. The result is a preliminary list of sources. Each of them has been categorized according to its coverage, as they can be specific for one of the five relevant sectors, cover some of them or have a general interest in the field of materials. This selection will be updated as new sources become available during the project lifetime.

Collection of information

On September 2015 and according to the distribution agreed in the surveillance plan, partners started collecting information internally in order to fine tuning their respective sources and tools. The information is constantly gathered using a semi-automatic approach that combines the use of internet monitoring agents with more precise selection criteria by human means.

Several online and face to face meetings have been carried out to coordinate approaches and formats concerning the upload of information on the web dissemination tool.

Dissemination of information

As defined in WP3 three main methods have been developed to disseminate information collected by the Observatory.


  • Deliverable D.4.3. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Channels, available for thedifferent categoriescovered by the Observatory.

  • Deliverable D.4.4. Half-yearlyreports that summarize and connect the most relevant pieces of information using three main groups: market value related news, actors’ movements (company investments, launch of new products, etc.) and research projects and programs. The first of these reports was produced in June 2016 and can be accessed on the Reports page

Additionally a twitter account @InfoObservatory has been created to disseminate Observatory´s posts.

Next steps

The Match Observatory KITs will be updated during the project life taking into account the results obtained in other work packages with the aim to have a broad and accurate range of key intelligent topics, which can contribute to a better understanding about what is to come in the field of advance materials. MATCH observatory will receive inputs especially from WP6 (Roadmap Foresight and roadmap). The sustainability of MATCH Observatory will be studied during 2017 before the MATCH project is over.