Eureka! fund invests in the technology transfer of two new Proof of Concepts from Cnr-Ipcb and University of Bologna


Eureka! TT S.r.l., an innovative start-up acting as an investment company on behalf of the "Eureka! Fund I - Technology Transfer", is investing in two new PoC projects.

The projects, submitted by research teams from Italian universities and research centres, are funded by Eureka! TT, which monitors their progress and results with a view to their subsequent valorisation through the creation of dedicated spin-off companies. The two new approved investments, which join seven other PoCs already funded, are Reflex project of the Cnr's Institute for polymers, composites and biomaterials (Cnr-Ipcb) and Bloxy project of the University of Bologna, Department of Chemistry 'Giacomo Ciamician' and Department of Industrial Chemistry 'Toso Montanari'.

"We welcome two multidisciplinary and complementary teams to the Eureka! Fund's portfolio of proof-of-concept investments with innovative and sustainable solutions in advanced packaging," said Stefano Peroncini, CEO of EUREKA! Venture SGR and Partner of the Eureka! Fund: "We are pleased to confirm today the validity of our investment thesis in advanced materials, thanks to which we have so far invested in 21 deeptech projects (12 companies and 9 PoC projects)".

Reflex aims to develop an adhesive for laminated films that has a high gas barrier and allows easy delamination and separation of the layers to facilitate recycling of the multilayer film. Multilayer packaging is made by using different materials to form the structure of a package. Plastic used as a mono-material is fully recyclable, the separation processes are simple and well established; therefore, mono-material packaging is efficiently recycled and achieves very high recycling rates. In contrast, the ability to easily recycle multi-material multi-layer films is still a particularly complex challenge.

In this context, Reflex's goal is to develop an adhesive that can both separate the different layers by delamination, allowing them to be recycled individually in a circular economy, and reduce oxygen permeability by creating an excellent gas barrier that prevents the packaged product from deteriorating and ensures its quality. Reflex's technology is therefore potentially suitable for packaging applications not only in the food sector, but also in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. "The material proposed in PoC Reflex addresses an issue that is currently the focus of much attention from institutions, the supply chain and consumers," says Giovanna G. Buonocore, PoC Reflex manager and Cnr-Ipcb researcher. "The issue of environmental sustainability has led packaging manufacturers and users to re-evaluate certain choices with a view to reducing the impact. The adhesive proposed in the Reflex PoC can be of particular interest both to companies operating in the reference sector, because it can bring significant competitive advantages, and to consumers, who are increasingly aware and attentive to the issue of 'end of life' of packaging".

The Bloxy project team has developed and patented an active, sustainable material that, when used as a packaging material, protects oxygen-sensitive foods and beverages from oxidative processes, preserving product quality for much longer than currently used packaging materials. The material developed by Bloxy is environmentally friendly and sustainable. The material is applied as a thin film between two thin packaging films and acts as an active oxygen barrier. The technology developed by Bloxy will be used during the PoC project for food packaging applications, but also has great potential for the storage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

"Packaging is undergoing a huge revolution in order to reduce food waste and packaging waste and to provide high quality food at reasonable costs. We are convinced that we are making a fundamental contribution to this development, by moving the manufacture and testing of our material from the laboratory to the industrial scale.” says Andreas Lesch, PI of Bloxy project and associate professor at the University of Bologna. "This PoC project is a great opportunity to increase the TRL level of our invention and to build and expand the industrial network of potential users of our invention thanks to the support of Eureka!" adds Francesco Zerbetto, member of Bloxy team and full professor at the University of Bologna.

"We are continuing our efforts to promote the results of Italian scientific research and to define the best valorisation paths. This time the protagonists are two teams with whom we intend to develop solutions, also integrated, capable of responding to one of the main challenges of food packaging: better food preservation,” comments Anna Amati, Partner who led the investment for Eureka! Fund investment. Eureka! has been assisted by the Law Firm “L&B Partners Avvocati Associati”. In particular, by Valentina Bonomo - Partner and Elena Ronda - Managing Associate who covered the intellectual property and technology transfer matters, and by Davide Pelloso - Partner who dealt with the corporate aspects of the contractual set.

Per informazioni:
Giovanna Buonocore
Cnr-Ipcb and Reflex Project Manager

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