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FP6

POLYSACCHARIDES — Result In Brief

Project ID: 500375
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: France

Powerful polymers kick plastic aside

Traditional plastics and other environmentally polluting materials could be slowly replaced by more eco-friendly polymers based on polysaccharides.
Powerful polymers kick plastic aside
Natural polymers made from polysaccharides, such as cellulose, represent a very common functional material that have found their way into numerous useful applications. Despite genetic and geo-climatic conditions that affect this highly engineered range of products, polysaccharide-type polymers offer an excellent eco-friendly and biodegradable alternative to many materials around us.

With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'The European Polysaccharide Network' (Polysaccharides) embarked on a mission to establish the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence Association (EPNOE) and promote networking in the field.

The project built a network of several institutions, dozens of companies and over 100 scientists, involving as well more than 70 PhD students in the initiative. It articulated a research and education roadmap for the next decade to advance the topic and established a business and industry club comprising more than 20 key players.

Overall, the network led to numerous ongoing joint research projects, continuous testing and a pool of 200 instruments for use by network members. Equally important, hundreds of projects have been launched among EPNOE's partners, many with key stakeholder organisations and science societies. Education in the field has also been supported through student exchanges and through the creation of new courses.

Knowledge strengthening the use of renewable raw materials (RRMs) and the dissemination platform created are set to bring countless product development opportunities. Not only will it reinforce the viability of several industries, but it will also provide more environmental and biodegradable products in line with EU renewable energy directions. Heavy-duty fabrics, plastics and a myriad of other products may finally join the green bandwagon.

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