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RENAISSANCE Report Summary

Project ID: 289347
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Spain


RENAISSANCE ITN is a multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial European research and training network in innovative polymers for a sustainable society. The six academic partners of the network and the three industrial participants have developed a joint programme including research projects, PhDs, supervision and mentoring, specific local courses, as well as network-wide activities such as secondments, local PhD courses, four workshops, one summer school and one conference. The network has offered training to 11 early stage researchers and 1 experienced researcher. The ultimate goal has been to train them as high quality researchers, prepare them for positions in industry and academia in the emerging area of Polyelectrolytes for Energy&Environment.

The main scientific objective of RENAISSANCE ITN has been the synthesis of new functional polyelectrolyte materials using green chemical approaches, to get an insight into their unique physico-chemical properties and to investigate their application in Energy and Environment. The network has been very successful and generated a great amount of results and materials by the synthesis of novel polyelectrolytes using renewable sources, new poly(ionic liquid)s and new types of block copolymers. Green polymerization methods such as polymerization in water or aqueous electrografting have been applied. These materials have been extensively characterized and tested in a variety of different technologies. Current applications that are being investigated in the project related to Energy include the development of new materials such as carbonaceous materials, poly(ionic liquid) electrolytes and binders, conductive polymer/lignin biocomposites and new catechol redox polymers. The materials were tested in different energy devices such organic batteries and high performance supercapacitors, both of them promising alternatives to current Li-ion batteries.
On the other hand, the new polyelectrolytes were investigated in Sustainable Environmental Technologies such as water cleaning technologies such as flocculation and oil recovery, laundry detergency, dry water and bioactive hydrogels and antimicrobial coatings. As a result of the scientific work carried out in these 4 years, RENAISSANCE partners will published more than 50 scientific papers, 90% of them with ESRs as main authors or co-authors. In addition, the strong collaboration between partners together with the secondments implemented throughout the project, have resulted already in 14 joint publications. Some of above-mentioned papers have been highlighted and used as cover pages in high impact journals. Last but not least, one book has been edited in the frame of Renaissance. Renaissance fellows have given presentations, both oral and poster presentations, in about 50 national and international conferences and events widely disseminating the project results.

Most of the fellows have completed their PhD degree at their home universities. They have participated in active research teams and they all had the opportunity to move and visit the different nodes of the network. Moreover, all ESRs have carried out secondments in at least one network institution, with the aim of improving their multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial skills. RENAISSANCE ITN has organized 8 project meetings, 4 workshops, 1 school and 1 conference at different locations. The topics of the four workshops were “Applying the Principles of Green Chemistry to Polymer Science”, “Shortening the Long Way between R&D and Industry”, which offered training in transferable skills in entrepreneurship and IPR issues, “Industrial Applications of Green Polyelectrolytes” and “Complementary Skills for Industrial Research Positions”. Around one hundred participants took part in SUSPOL Summer School “Polymers for a Sustainable World” organized in the frame of the project. Renaissance conference titled “Green Biopolymers and Energy Conversion and Storage” counted on the participation of all Renaissance partners and 6 ESRs contributed with oral presentations. Finally, RENAISSANCE participated in the organization of the EUPOC2014 conference. These events were open to external participants and more than 300 researchers outside the network attended. Finally, most of the fellows have participated in outreach activities, spreading Renaissance results to general public in different ways such as newspaper articles, press releases, blog posts and Marie Curie Ambassadors in Researchers Nights.

Project webpage:
Facebook webpage: ( and Twitter Account

Contact details:
Project Coordinator: Prof. David Mecerreyes (
POLYMAT (, University of the Basque Country (Spain)
Project Manager: Dr. Mónica Moreno (

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