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Towards Commercialization of Polymeric Ionic Liquids

Periodic Report Summary - PIL-TO-MARKET (Towards Commercialization of Polymeric Ionic Liquids)

The PIL-TO-MARKET project was composed of a High-Tech Small Medium Enterprise (SME) from France named SOLVIONIC active in commercialisation of ionic liquids materials and technologies and the Research Institute CIDETEC from Spain. The main goal of the project was to forge an alliance between the industrial and academic partner in order to pave the way towards the commercialisation of novel Polymeric Ionic Liquid products. This was to be accomplished by a joint research programme which will be supported by exchange of know-how and experience through secondments of research staff of the partners, by recruiting experienced researchers and networking events. The ambitious goal behind the project required the expertise and complementarities of both partners, the basic science related to the synthesis and characterisation of polymeric ionic liquids and the experience in scale-up and commercialisation of new ionic liquid products. The project fits within the Marie Curie schema by fostering dynamic pathways between public research organisations and private commercial enterprises, in particular SMEs. PIL-to-MARKET will benefit both, the participating institutions and the career prospects of the seconded and recruited fellows and the European society in general by improving the competitiveness of our industrial and academic institutions.

Up to now the PIL-TO-MARKET partners have been principally working in material synthesis. Obviously, special emphasis has been devoted to synthesis, characterisation and processing of novel Polymeric Ionic Liquids. Wide-ranging knowledge transfer between the partners involving MERs, ERs, ESRs and other staff member has been taking place during the whole period.

A breakdown of the main results achieved so far is listed below:
- Synthesis and characterisation of a range of novel high-purity ionic liquid monomers.
- Optimisation of polymerisation procedures and characterisation of the obtained polymers.
- Scale-up of monomeric and polymeric ionic liquids with improved parameters.
- Processing of polymeric ionic liquid as thin films.
- Generation of an exploitation plan (Economic viability studies, patents, publications etc.).
- Presentation of the project on an invited workshop 'Ionic Liquids and Polymers' (Lyon, France, 8 November 2010) and seminar on ionic liquids at CIDETEC.
- Publication in a high-impact journal (Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2010, 31, 1646-1651).

In the next period, the Polymeric Ionic Liquids developed within the project will be tested in several applications such as polymer electrolytes for advanced electrochemical devices, coatings (lubricants and polymeric surfactants) and dispersing agents in nanocomposites. A commercial evaluation of the Polymeric Ionic Liquids which show good device performances will be carried out.

Around month 36 of the project a two day workshop on Polymeric Ionic Liquids/ Synthesis and Applications will be organised in San Sebastián/Spain with the participation of all the IAPP researchers and in addition with invited researchers from outside the partnership. Particular attention will be paid to invite and attract potential industrial end users of polymeric ionic liquids and lectures on complementary skills such as project management and entrepreneurship will be organised.

By the end of the project it is expected that Solvionic will commercialise various monomeric and polymeric ionic liquids that have been developed during the project.