Strengthening research, technological development and innovation

The project in numbers
30 months
Start date: 01.10.17
End date: 31.03.20
N. Partner: 5
Budget FERS:

The project in numbers

30 months
Start / End: 
01.10.17 to 31.03.20
Project progress: 
Budget FERS: 


A trans-regional platform for the transfer of technological biopolymers from the research sector to the market
Priority Axis 1

Promoting innovation capacities for a more competitive area

Specific Objective: 
OS 1.1.
Investment Priority: 
PI 1b
Overall Objective of the Project: 

The main objective of the project was to establish a new technology platform by strengthening cooperation between research organizations and key economic stakeholders to accelerate the development of pilot technology in the field of advanced biopolymers. The project has made a positive contribution to the specific objectives of the cross-border cooperation program, namely through the mentioned technological platform, which paves the way for innovative business initiatives and encourages the necessary exchange of knowledge, technology and innovation

Project summary: 

Global aquaculture and shellfish production currently produces over 10 million tonnes of biomass per year, generating a considerable amount of waste in the form of shells and exoskeletons. These abundant yet under-utilised renewable biomasses have enormous potential for the production of advanced materials (biopolymers), and fall within the scope of the Key Enabling Technologies and the key areas of the Smart Specialisation Strategies identified by the “New Materials, Green Chemistry and Health” program.
Numerous research institutes and companies are actively involved in various biopolymer product development stages; however, the synergies and technology transfer dynamics between them are still insufficient.

To overcome these obstacles, the BioApp project developed a new supra-regional technology platform and combined the complementary knowledge and skills of partners, with a vision to promote solutions, development and applicability of commercially interesting highly innovative biopolymers and biomaterials.

Through a regional cooperation effort involving complementary and interdisciplinary partners, ranging from the academic world (UNITS), to public and private research institutes (COBIK, KI), start-ups (BIOPOLife) and medium-sized companies (ACIES BIO), the project provided an integrated solution that uses natural resources to produce materials designed to improve people’s quality of life. All project partners benefit from the developed pilot technology for technology transfer, social and eco-innovation and strengthen links and synergies between companies, research and development centres and in the field of higher education. This trans-regional platform facilitates the integration of new stakeholders through the development of the technology and the commercialisation of the relative product, according to the “economy of closed material cycles” principle, as regards the new business models for a circular economy.

Main results: 

Project BioApp strengthened cooperation and increased interconnection between key stakeholders involved in the development of bio-polymer innovations, both from the public and private sectors within the program area, through their direct involvement in the pilot development of bio-polymer technologies. Their cooperation and the process of developing these technologies was aimed at establishing a sustainable flow of information for the development of current and future products and services with high added value within the program area, thereby increasing competitiveness and stimulating economic growth. By established trans-regional technological platform, this project BioApp provided the means and the space to improve access to knowledge and create opportunities for concrete engagement in the fields of technology transfer, translational research, innovation, and technology in the partners’ common priority areas. Particular attention was dedicated to place SMEs in contact with large, established regional companies, as they represent the main actors in terms of the potential creation of new jobs within the program area.


Lead Partner

Kemijski inštitut Odsek za katalizo in reakcijsko inženirstvo


Project partner 1

Università degli Studi di Trieste


Project partner 2



Project partner 3

Biopolife s.r.l.


Project partner 4

ACIES BIO biotehnološke raziskave in razvoj, d.o.o.



 Poster - annual event 30.05.2018 Poster - annual event 30.05.2018
( 437 bytes, published on 7 June, 2018 - 12:55 )
BioApp roll-upBioApp roll-up
Rollup Biopp.pdf
( 5 bytes, published on 23 August, 2021 - 13:21 )
DS 3.2 Biodegradable packagingDS 3.2 Biodegradable packaging
DS 3.2 Biorazgradlljiva embalaza_Imballaggio biodegradabile.pdf
( 10 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Networking events with regional partnersDS 3.2 Networking events with regional partners
DS 3.2 Dogodki mreženje z regionalnimi parternji_Creazione di reti di conoscenze con partner regionali.pdf
( 3 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Paper and biopolymer packagingDS 3.2 Paper and biopolymer packaging
DS 3.2 Embalaza iz papirja in biopolimera_Imballaggio ottenuto da carta e biopolimeri.pdf
( 5 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Networking with industry and transfer of good practicesDS 3.2 Networking with industry and transfer of good practices
DS 3.2 Mreženje z industrijo in prenos dobrih praks_Creazione di reti di conoscenze con industrie e trasferimento.pdf
( 5 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 New solutions from biopolymersDS 3.2 New solutions from biopolymers
DS 3.2 Nove resitve iz biopolimerov_Nuove soluzioni dai biopolimeri.pdf
( 6 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Partners included in the platformDS 3.2 Partners included in the platform
DS 3.2 Partnerji vključeni v platformi_Partners coinvolti nella piattaforma.pdf
( 146 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Developed pilot ionization for modified biopolymers for biomedical and cosmetic applicationsDS 3.2 Developed pilot ionization for modified biopolymers for biomedical and cosmetic applications
DS 3.2 Razvita pilotna ionvacija za modificirane biopolimere za biomedicinske in kozmeticne aplikacije_Sviluppo pilota di innovazione per biopolimeri modificati per utilizzi in mabito cosmetico e biomedico.pdf
( 3 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.2 Developed technology for zero-waste cosmeticsDS 3.2 Developed technology for zero-waste cosmetics
DS 3.2 Razvita tehnologija za zero-waste kozmetiko_Sviluppo di una tecnologia per la cosmetica zero-waste.pdf
( 3 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.3 Active and biodegradable biopolymer packaging with added plant extractsDS 3.3 Active and biodegradable biopolymer packaging with added plant extracts
DS 3.3 Aktivna in biorazgradljiva embalaža iz biopolimerov z dodanimi rastlinskimi ekstrakti_Imballaggio attivo e biodegradabile ottenuto da biopolimeri con l'aggiunta di estratti da piante.pdf
( 299 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.3 BioApp partner COBIK and transfer of knowledge and good practices from the laboratory to industryDS 3.3 BioApp partner COBIK and transfer of knowledge and good practices from the laboratory to industry
DS 3.3 BioApp partner COBIK in prenos znanja in dobrih praks iz laboratorija na industrijo_Il partner di BioApp Cobik e trasferimento delle conoscenze e buone pratiche dal laboratorio ai prodotti industriali.pdf
( 3 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.3 Environmentally friendly food packagingDS 3.3 Environmentally friendly food packaging
DS 3.3 Okolju prijazna embalaza za zivila_Imballaggio alimentare rispettoso dell'ambiente.pdf
( 135 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
DS 3.3 Antimicrobial foils for foodDS 3.3 Antimicrobial foils for food
DS 3.3 Protimikrobne folije za zivila_Pellicole antimicrobiche per imballaggi alimentari.pdf
( 6 bytes, published on 25 August, 2021 - 10:39 )
BioApp - promotional materialsBioApp - promotional materials
BioApp_Promocijski material.png
( 881 bytes, published on 26 August, 2021 - 09:23 )
BioApp - Project BrochureBioApp - Project Brochure
( 19 bytes, published on 26 August, 2021 - 09:23 )

Objectives and Activities

In the BioApp project, the project partners investigated the possibilities of developing and producing advanced materials (biopolymers) from shellfish, i.e. from unused waste marine biomass produced in aquaculture and crustacean hunting. Apart from the fact that this biomass source is largely unused, research and industrial companies developing biopolymers lacked the knowledge to move innovations from development to production.

Therefore, the main objective of the BioApp project was to create a new technological platform to strengthen collaboration between research institutions and key business players to accelerate the development of pilot technologies in the field of advanced biopolymers. The partners involved, from the university (UNITS), public and private research institutions (COBIK, KI), start-up companies (BIOPOLife), and a private company (ACIES BIO), pooled their knowledge and skills and pursued the vision of finding comprehensive solutions, developing and marketing interesting, highly innovative products that combine natural resources and contribute to human well-being.

The main outcome of the project is the Bioapp Platform - a Transregional technology platform for the transfer of advanced biopolymers from the laboratory to the market. It offers a broad network of contacts and collaborations and enables the direct transfer of research, innovation, and technologies between partners in common fields. Research institutions and companies now have access to knowledge; start-ups and spin-offs have easier access to the market with their products. In the cross-border area of Italy and Slovenia, the project ensured a constant flow of information between producers of high added value products made of innovative biopolymer material and developers of services in the food, cosmetics, and biomedical industries. The Slovenian-Italian area has thus become one of the leading European centers for biopolymers and the development of advanced technologies for their use in the aforementioned industries.

The platform also contributes to the development of new business models for the transition to a circular economy and, through the commercialization of technology and products, to the deepening of the value chain according to the principle of the "circular economy", to higher competitiveness, economic growth, and new jobs.

The project focused on communication about biomaterials with different target groups. The project partners participated in or (co-) organized 58 workshops or events. Social media are very effective communication channels. Facebook and LinkedIn are active profiles even after the end of the project. Regular posts with popular information on research areas and products increase awareness and understanding of marine biomass waste and the possibilities of its use in new products. Posts with advice on zero-waste raise awareness of the importance of making changes in everyday life that can help protect the environment and improve the quality of life.

The project produced several pilot products from biomaterials. More than ten scientific papers on the subject informed the professional public about the progress made in the efficiency and sustainability of the biorefinery process for recycling biomass from crustacean shells. The project partners have developed materials that can mimic the micro-and macrorheological properties of natural biomaterials based on hitlak, and produced and evaluated food films from chitosan with the addition of various extracts. A library of differently characterized chitosan was developed, depending on the molecular weight and proportion of acetylated units. Chitosan was used to form hydrogels with controlled external gelation. With the scientific results, the project partners participated in the preparation of a manual for the development of packaging in a circular economy, aimed at industry and the interested public. The project results were regularly reported on radio and TV stations, online broadcasts or interviews of the project partners.

During the project, new collaborations were established with start-ups and spin-offs (BiopoLife, 123zero, MibiTo). The collaboration contributed to the development of their products. This type of collaboration is crucial as they are willing to turn innovations into business ideas and create new jobs. Companies from the food, cosmetics, and health industries are key to the transition of developed eco-innovation from laboratory production to the pre-industrial level. The involvement of SMEs was important to gain access to end-users, create a complete value chain and fill the gap typical of innovation-producing research institutions.

The BioApp project is recognized as a generator of solutions to single-use plastic problems and, through its results, is involved in several multilateral and interdisciplinary associations that promote sustainable development and innovation.


Kemijski inštitut Odsek za katalizo in reakcijsko inženirstvo

00386 (0) 14760526
Hajdrihova ulica 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Petra Props

Università degli Studi di Trieste

0039 0405583001
Via E. Weiss 2, 34128 Trieste, Italia
Donati Ivan


00386 (0) 58500893
Tovarniška cesta 26, 5270 Ajdovščina, Slovenija
Peterka Matjaž

Biopolife s.r.l.

+39 040 2038 587
Via Licio Giorgieri 5, 34127 Trieste, Italia
Massimiliano Borgogna

ACIES BIO biotehnološke raziskave in razvoj, d.o.o.

00386 (0) 59075995
Tehnološki park 21, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Kuščer Enej