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The project takes inspiration from spiders and silkworms and on how these animals are able to create a high performance natural fibre (sustainable, degradable and elastic) in a way which is over 1000 times more energy efficient than industrially manufactured ones.
These fibres will have a remarkable impact not only in the textile sector, for which they were initially created, but also on the entire industry sector and society. Thanks to the very low CO2 emissions engendered and the use of natural resources, this new way of polymer processing will drastically reduce the energy consumption and the plastic production.
In the FLIPT video, Mr Chris Holland, Coordinator of the consortium, explains that the potential of the newly identified polymer processing is huge as, currently, there is no alternative technology that could compete with existing thermoplastics ones.
Moreover, in terms of applications, a recently published article in the “Materials Chemistry Frontiers”, partially supported by FLIPT, reports that natural silks get stronger the colder they get. This could envisage the design and fabrication of new families of natural and silk-inspired filaments for applications in extreme cold conditions such as space (see also this article in Cordis reporting on these findings).
The FLIPT project is now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot, specifically of the Pathfinder, the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020.
The EIC Pathfinder is the new paradigm of the previously known Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)-Open and FET Proactive actions funded under the FET Programme.
“When we did the first implantation in 2008, the real question was: can we give back sensations to an amputee using electrodes implanted in peripheral nerves? At that time we absolutely didn’t know, it was a bet. Now we have shown we can do it. We have demonstrated that the patient can use this information during real tasks, so it has an impact on everyday life. The current step is to make this thing clinically usable for many patients for a long time.”
The FET Innovation LaunchPad topic encourages activities such as defining a commercialisation process, market and competitiveness analysis, technology assessment, verification of innovation potential, consolidation of intellectual property rights, business case development. Proposals can include activities with, for instance, partners for technology transfer, license-takers, investors and other sources of financing, societal organisations or potential end-users.
One of the expected impacts of the Innovation LaunchPad topic is to bring about improved competitiveness of the European industry, and economy overall, by seeding future growth and the creation of jobs from EIC Pathfinder FET research results. And indeed, experience from earlier calls shows that some projects have managed to launch a spin-off! Other projects have been able to receive funding from VC funds or signed first sales with customers. Some even have recruited staff of more than 20 high-profile physicists and engineers.
For the three calls that the FET Innovation LaunchPad has had up to now, it managed to attract about 200 proposals and has funded 60 projects with a total budget of €6 million. For the last Innovation Launchpad call under the Horizon 2020 framework programme, beneficiaries will declare costs based on lump sums of up to EUR 0.1 million for each grant.
Do not miss the chance and apply before 14 October 2020!
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