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Bio-on hosted the final meeting of Seafront

Bio-on Seafront final event

Bio-on Seafront final eventBio-on hosted the final meeting of the Seafront, the Eu project dedicated to the development of a new generation of self-polishing coatings.

Bio-on, the Italian biotechnology company leader in the bioplastic sector and listed in the AIM segment of the Borsa Italiana, organised last December the final event of the European project Synergistic Fouling Control Technologies – SEAFRONT.

In Bologna (Italy), for two days, 50 representatives of five multinationals, seven SMEs and seven research institutes spread across eight EU Member States presented and discussed the results achieved within the four-year project period in the development of environmentally friendly coatings which prevent the undesirable accumulation of marine organisms on boats, ships, tidal power plants and other aquatic installations.

The SEAFRONT project budget amounts to 11.2 million Euros including 8 million Euros financial contribution from the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Ocean of Tomorrow call, under the Grant Agreement N. 614034.

By combining multiple antifouling approaches/technologies the project delivered the following objectives:

  1. Cost-effective coatings solutions with reduced environmental footprint as determined by comparative life cycle and eco-efficiency assessment.
  2. Improvement in biofouling deterrence and/or biofouling release.
  3. Hydrodynamic drag reduction resulting in a consequent 5% improvement in operating efficiency.

In parallel, a strong fundamental/mechanistic understanding and new performance predictive test methods have been developed to feedback and information technology evolution and down-select promising coating solutions for end-user field trials.

The fouling control coatings developed within the project coordinated by the Dutch Polymer Institute – DPI will not leach chemicals or other harmful substances that are non-biodegradable in the marine environment. In addition, the coatings will reduce the hydrodynamic resistance of ships and boats, decreasing fuel consumption and thus substantially reducing CO2 emissions. Finally, the new coatings will lead to considerable savings in operational costs by improving the efficiency of tidal power installations and reducing the frequency of maintenance and cleaning in off-shore infrastructures and aquaculture applications.

During the project implementation, Bio-on has successfully produced by natural fermentation of agricultural by-products and supplied to its partner different grades of its bioplastic PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoates) in order to develop new and more sustainable self-polishing coatings. All PHAs biopolymers developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional polymers with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable.

Thanks to the excellent and promises results achieved during the SEAFRONT project implementation Bio-on and AkzoNobel decided to continue their collaborative activities in order to further demonstrate the already developed systems and initiate work on new formulations as announced on the 4th of December 2017.

Due to the importance of the event, Bio-on decided to organise the final project meeting within the prestigious premises of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna so to provide a meaningful framework to the presentation and discussion of the European Scientists.

“We’re extremely happy of our participation in the SEAFRONT Project; to be part of this outstanding consortium was a great experience for our company” says Marco Astorri, President and CEO of Bio-on “that have also brought great satisfaction with the development of PHA: the results achieved with our biopolymer demonstrate once again how large is the range of possible applications we can achieve also thanks to the collaboration between our technicians and experts in different specific fields.”

Bio-On S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials. In particular, Bio-On develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items. Since February 2015, Bio-On S.p.A. has also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future.

Bio-On has developed an exclusive process for the production of a family of polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of traditional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility.

Bio-On PHAs is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Issuer’s strategy envisages the marketing of licenses for PHAs production and related ancillary services, the development of R&D (also through new collaborations with universities, research centres and industrial partners), as well as the realisation of industrial plants designed by Bio-On.


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