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Conservation of European Biodiversity through Exploitation of Traditional Herbal Knowledge for the Development of Innovative Products

Project description

Culturing a European hotspot of medicinal plant biodiversity

Southeast Europe, including the Balkan Peninsula, hosts an exceptionally rich biodiversity with plant species that are unique to this region and those used in traditional medicine. The Balkan people have a long history and profound understanding of the plants and their properties and this treasure-trove of bioactive natural compounds has become the focus of numerous ethnobiological field studies. Concurrently, the depletion of medicinal and aromatic plant populations has raised an alarm. EthnoHERBS is integrating traditional knowledge of plants used in the treatment of wounds with detailed chemical activity studies. The outcomes will be used to develop organic cultivation and eco-friendly extraction techniques, supporting the development of new products and ensuring the preservation of this rich cultural heritage.

Objective

‘EthnoHERBS’ project aims to apply systematic ethnobotanical surveys and cutting edge technologies in the field of Natural Product Chemistry in order to fully and efficiently exploit the traditional knowledge and the therapeutic potential of medicinal and aromatic plants of the Balkan Peninsula. New opportunities for the generation of innovative products will arise and current environmental challenges will be addressed. The cornerstone of ‘EthnoHERBS’ project is the exploitation of traditional knowledge, the investigation of plant biodiversity and the application of eco-friendly technologies for the efficient extraction and purification of bioactive ingredients, as well as their complete chemical characterization and biological evaluation of their effects on skin disorders. Optimization of production processes as well as formulation using emerging technologies will lead to the development of novel final products. The organic cultivation of selected plants will ensure the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainability of the project. A diverse group of experts, leaders in their scientific and technological fields, comprising seven academic groups and seven non-academic partners from five EU Member States and one Candidate Country will join forces and exchange know-how through an extended secondments scheme to advance Research & Innovation. Using the experience of the academic partners in ethnobotany, phytochemistry and biology, as well as the practical experience of the SMEs in commercialization of plant derived products and development of innovative final products, transfer of scientific knowledge, best practices and know-how, training courses and workshops will take place. Overall, the implementation of the ‘EthnoHERBS’ project aspires to develop a successful and sustainable international and intersectoral collaboration model that will contribute to the most effective conservation and exploitation of natural resources and the development of innovative product.

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Coordinator

ETHNIKO KAI KAPODISTRIAKO PANEPISTIMIO ATHINON
Net EU contribution
€ 400 200,00
Address
6 christou lada str
10561 Athina
Greece

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Region
Αττική Aττική Κεντρικός Τομέας Αθηνών
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (14)