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Innovation and knowledge transfer boost among polysaccharide researchers and companies

The European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) is a research, education and knowledge transfer network that links academia and industry. An EU initiative helped strengthen this relationship while ensuring EPNOE's financial sustainability.
Innovation and knowledge transfer boost among polysaccharide researchers and companies
The EPNOE Association is a non-profit organisation that brings together small and large companies where polysaccharide and polysaccharide-related products are used by academic and research institutions working on or interested in polysaccharides.

With EU funding, the EPNOE CSA (Expanding EPNOE leadership towards food and health related materials, and increasing industrial participation) project set out to ensure the financial viability of EPNOE, reinforce academia/research participation with industry, and boost innovation and knowledge transfer. To achieve its aims, it expanded EPNOE activities in food- and health-related materials and products.

Researchers performed four finance checks for the period 2011-2014 to ensure an optimal balance between expenses and revenues. Financial expenses were either lowered or transferred to other sources.

To boost participation, the Association was reorganised by restructuring its membership. By February 2015, 10 universities had joined as affiliate members and over 50 more had expressed interest. To increase information flow among all stakeholders interested in polysaccharide research and applications, a global network called epnoe-at-large was set up. In early 2015, more than 250 key academic and industrial actors were already members of the email-based knowledge transfer platform.

Measures such as strategy plans were developed to expand health- and food-related activities. To boost innovation transfer, outcomes from project partners were identified with the potential to be turned into innovative activities in the polysaccharide field. The team created new projects and proposals by exploiting 170 underdeveloped research concepts or application ideas that were gathered for this purpose.

Project partners also fostered ties with three regional and national knowledge transfer and innovation clusters in Germany, France and Poland.

EPNOE CSA succeeded in creating a knowledge-transfer critical mass spanning a broad scientific and technological academic, research and industrial community. Innovation in polysaccharides is all but ensured for the coming years.

Related information


Innovation, knowledge transfer, polysaccharide, European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence, food and health
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