We can do it!

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, high access barriers to pre-commercial material development, testing and certification facilities and pilot-production capabilities in Europe prevent StartUps, SMEs and Industries from commercially exploiting novel ideas in nanotechnology and advanced materials. Investors, although willing to support innovative solutions, lack the technical knowledge and the institutional capabilities for evaluating new ideas, products, and business models of StartUps.

The EU-funded initiative FlexFunction2Sustain aims at overcoming these limitations by creating an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) for nano-functionalisation technologies that enable sustainable and smart plastics and paper based products.

The objectives of FlexFunction2Sustain project are:

  • Establish a self-sustainable Open Innovation Test Bed as an open platform for evaluation and maximisation of the innovation potential of novel ideas, technologies, and products
  • Prepare technical facilities for bio- and recyclable polymers and increased reliability & cost-effectiveness
  • Validate upgraded facilities in industrial use scenarios
  • Define holistic innovation service portfolio aligned to SME/industrial needs and test it with early adopters
  • Set up a profit company as Single Entry Point to provide common access and offer complete and transparent information about the facilities, capabilities and services provided by the Open Innovation Test Bed

Project coordinator Dr.-Ing. Christian May, Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, explains the unique potential of the ecosystem: “The strength of the FlexFunction2Sustain OITB is the unique cooperation between the research, technology and business development partners to set-up a combined offer of complementary facilities and services for boosting innovation. Through a separate Single Entry Point legal entity, SME will gain access to pan European network without the need to speak multiple languages or to understand the law of multiple countries. This model allows the most appropriate technology selections and shaping out the whole technological portfolio available in the EU. This ensures that the users can expect optimum cost, time-to-market, reliability and performance”.

Our plan for the future