Aalborg University (AAU) offers education and research within the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, technical and health science to more than 19.000 (13% international) students, through its famous problem-based learning method. AAU has extended competences in the field of plastic pollution. The university has recently received a large funding to build a new Danish centre for research in marine plastic pollution. AAU is heading the research centre and coordinating the collaboration among 4 Danish universities.

The Department of Chemistry and Bioscience does research within a broad field of chemistry and bioscience. There will be 3 research groups working in UPLIFT:

1) the Biorefinery research group (BRG) with a focus on bioprocess technology and bio-conversion of waste streams, development of biorefineries to produce biofuels, green chemicals, biopolymers, enzymes, surfactants, etc., as well as the degradation of recalcitrant compounds such as plastics and pesticides, and 2) researchers from the Centre for Microbial Communities (CMC), whose overall research goal is to provide new fundamental understanding of structure and function of microbial communities in engineered and natural habitats. Main research areas involve systems microbiology, microbiomes, bacterial interactions and relationships, discovery of novel microorganisms and microbial functions, metagenomics, meta-proteomics and metabolomics. 3) The Department of Culture and Learning has a social science approach on consumer practices and social acceptance. Especially the research concerns sustainable knowledge systems to provide new insights of societal impact and acceptance and consumer awareness and participation.

Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), a member of the Helmholtz Association, is one of the largest research centres in Europe with a staff of more than 6,000. The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, IBG-1: Biotechnology is one of the leading institutes in Germany in the field of microbial biotechnology with 140 employees. IBG-1 is active in the field of molecular and applied microbiology as well as in the development of new and efficient bioprocesses (i.e. bio catalysis and fermentative approaches). The IBG-1 uses “omics” technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and fluxomics) and has also established single-cell analysis via FACS and fluorescence microscopy. A major topic is the development of bacteria as biocatalysts for production of industrially relevant products, such as amino acids, organic acids, polymer building blocks and proteins from waste streams and other renewable carbon sources.

The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB) is an international competence centre specialising on bridging the gap between academic and industrial research in the field of industrial biotechnology. The international competence centre is located in Austria (Graz, Innsbruck, Tulln, Vienna) with additional locations in Germany (Heidelberg, Bielefeld, Hamburg), Italy (Pavia), Poland (Rzeszów), Spain (Barcelona), and Taiwan. ACIB is developing more environmentally friendly and economic processes for the biotechnological, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. All these processes are modelled on methods and tools from nature. This know-how is the foundation for new and improved applications and products in the field of industrial biotechnology all over the world.

The broad range of scientific excellence at ACIB is divided in 12 research fields, covering all sectors of industrial biotechnology. With approximately 250 of our own employees and expertise from our currently 18 scientific partners (e.g. BOKU Vienna, TU Graz), ACIB offers a multi-disciplinary team of experts in the fields of biocatalysts, enzyme technology, protein engineering, (bio)polymers, metabolic modelling, bioprocess engineering, synthetic biology, and cell engineering. Overall, the ACIB team can show a 25-years expertise on the topic with more than 350 scientific publications, 15 patents and >30 European projects in the enzyme/polymer field.

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe and has focus on research and teaching; on developing and increasing partnerships with industry; and on providing public sector consultancy.

DTU Chemical Engineering is a DTU department with about 270 employees from about 40 countries. Of these approx. 100 are experienced scientific staff, 100 PhD students and 70 administrative and technical staff. The department covers the core Chemical Engineering disciplines, amongst them reaction engineering and transport phenomena (i.e. heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics). In addition, the department teaches and performs research within areas of practical importance, and polymer technology is one of those.

DTU Chemical Engineering conducts experiments at microscale, at laboratory scale, in pilot facilities and at industrial scale. The department enjoys a very close and mutually beneficial relationship with Danish-based industrial enterprises as well as leading universities and enterprises from all over the world. Innovation through industrial implementation of research results is a natural component of the Department’s strategy. The goal of the Danish Polymer Centre (DPC) at DTU Chemical Engineering is to develop polymer-based products based on a sound foundation of mathematical modelling, polymer chemistry and polymer physics.

Lund University (ULUND), founded in 1666, is ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. It is the largest institution of research and higher education in Scandinavia with about 42 000 students and 7 400 staff members. The University has eight faculties; engineering; science; law; social sciences; economics; medicine; humanities & theology; performing arts and several research centres and specialised schools. ULUND has a distinct international profile, with partner universities in over 70 countries. It hosts two of the world’s foremost research facilities on materials and life science research, MaxIV and European Spallation Source. The ambition and strength of the university is to utilise disciplinary breadth, interdisciplinary collaboration, and reinforced engagement with wider society to meet complex societal challenges. ULUND has significant experience from EU research and innovation and has participated in over 1000 projects from framework programme 1 and onwards, mainly in the areas of Technology, Science and Medicine.

Founded in 1998, TECNARO GmbH (TECNARO) develops, produces, and markets bio-based and biodegradable materials. The business is focused on three different material families: Liquid Wood ARBOFORM®, Wood Plastic Composites ARBOFILL® and Biopolymer Compound ARBOBLEND®. ARBOFORM® and ARBOBLEND® consist of biopolymers like the wood constituent lignin or of lignin derivatives and/or other biopolymers like Polylactic Acid, Polyhydroxyalkanoates etc. used as a binder for natural fibres. ARBOFILL® is made from petrochemical polymers like Polypropylene or Polyethylene partially blended with biopolymers and reinforced/filled with natural fibres like hemp, flax, or wood.

TECNARO performed several national and international research projects regarding material development based on natural resources. Together with Fraunhofer ICT, TECNARO owns several patents in this field. TECNARO is a company established in Ilsfeld and has a staff of 37 people including 4 researchers. It has also filled 16 patents and has a production capacity of approximatively 15.000T/y.

Bio-mi Ltd. is a small and medium-sized research and development company based in Croatia, dedicated to the production of final and semifinal thermoplastic materials and products used for the production of primary and secondary packaging and agricultural products. Advanced engineering of new bio-based and sustainable plastic materials and solutions are in the focus of Bio-Mi activities making it the first company in East and Southeast Europe dedicated to the production of bio-based thermoplastic materials and final products from new developed materials. Apart from developing new bio-based building blocks and materials, Bio-mi Ltd. provides services of consulting, advising and education in the field of transforming plastics and other advanced materials into final products that are in line with bioeconomy goals. Since 2017, Bio-Mi is a full member of BIC, in addition to participating in several national Technology Innovation Boards.

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) is an independent, state-of-the-art facility that operates from a laboratory level to a multiton scale. BBEPP is a service provider for process development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of biobased products and processes. A wide and flexible spectrum of modular unit operations enable the company to translate a biobased lab protocol into a viable industrial process. BBEPP is situated in the Port of Ghent in Belgium. It is an independent, open innovation pilot plant and is accessible for companies and research institutions throughout the world.

The team at BBEPP consists of highly trained and experienced engineers, process operators and technicians with a vast amount of know-how on both a scientific and technical level. The team assists in experimental set-up, process analysis and design, calculation of mass- and energy balances, and provides start-up assistance at an industrial scale.

BBEPP’s mission is to close the gap in the innovation chain of the bio-based economy, bridging science, and industrial production. The activities of BBEPP can be categorized in process development (TRL 3-4), scale up (TRL 5-6), and pilot and demo production to allow market introduction (TRL 7-8).

The scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute carry out research into natural products from microorganisms and into the infection biology of pathogenic fungi. Novel discoveries of natural products are investigated for their biological activity and modified purposefully for possible drug applications.

The primary task of the Bio Pilot Plant is the process development and scaling of microbial systems. The department regularly develop processes for unknown microbial synthesis of active compounds and valued products, which have been discovered at HKI. These compounds must be generated in relevant amounts with high purity to enable further structural analyses and functional testing and characterization. Moreover, the Bio Pilot Plant collaborates with external partners from industry and academia to support the transfer of fundamental discoveries to a higher technology level. For this purpose, overall processes from pure substrates to purified products can be characterized, optimized, and finally scaled up from pico-litre to m³.

AIMPLAS, Plastic Technology Centre located in Valencia, is a private, non-profit Association with more than 700 associated companies created in 1990. AIMPLAS is formed by +180 highly skilled professional, more than 65% with a Masters, Engineering or equivalent degree in Chemistry, polymer engineering, materials engineering or equivalent, including 30 PhD. AIMPLAS’ fields of work are related to technological research and synthesis & development on thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials & products, its transformation processes and their recyclability and sustainability. AIMPLAS generates new knowledge and technologies that can be transferred to companies to help them to increase their effectiveness and competitiveness.

UCD today is a leading European research-intensive university where third level undergraduate education, fourth level postgraduate masters and PhD training, research, innovation, and community engagement form a continuum of activity. The university is home to over 3,500 international students from over 100 countries. UCD runs overseas programmes in partnership with leading international universities and education providers in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, and Sri Lanka. UCD students have access to a range of study abroad opportunities through the Erasmus Mundus programme and through UCD’s membership of the Universities 21 network of global research universities. Our academics operate in an environment that encourages cross-disciplinary research, thereby drawing on the academic diversity that is UCD’s great strength and collaborate extensively both within Ireland and with leading international research institutions.

UCD has a number of institutes and research centres dedicated to sustainable production, circular economy and bioeconomy.

Bioplastech is an Irish SME with patented technology for the manufacture and processing of a range of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers from sustainable and waste resources.

Bioplastech is also a product developer and solutions provider. Key to the company’s success to date has been the production of biopolymers known as medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoate (mclPHA). These mclPHAs are elastomers and are more flexible than any other PHA-polymers currently on the market. They are fully bio-degradable and ideal for commodity and packaging applications as adhesives. They can also be used in their pure form for medical devices or as blends or additives to enhance flexibility and strength of other polymers. Bioplastech also has extensive knowhow in the production and purification of short chain length polyhydroxyalkanoates (sclPHAs) which again have applications in packaging. Bioplastech has developed several blends and composites of both sclPHA and mclPHA and has significant knowhow on the blending of these polymers with other polymers both traditional petrochemical and other biodegradable polymers.

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS is a Spanish consultancy company which provides innovative services to a wide range of sectors across Europe: bio-based industry, renewable energy, advanced materials, among others. The core competencies offered by Sustainable Innovations are structured in three main pillars which bridge the gap between ideas to market: Innovation Management, Market Uptake of Innovative Solutions and Capacity Building.

The Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) belongs to the largest universities in Germany with a long-standing excellent research tradition. The Chemistry division of the RWTH consists of more than 30 professors in inorganic, organic, physical, technical, and macromolecular chemistry. In today´s chemistry, the close combination of synthetic, spectroscopic, and theoretical methods belongs to the key techniques to advance chemical sciences. At RWTH Aachen, a multitude of chemical groups uses this approach. Within the faculty of mathematics, informatics and natural sciences, an ideal research environment is supported by the German excellence initiative. Moreover, in the profile area of Molecular Science & Engineering (MSE) an ideal interdisciplinary and stimulating research environment has been created. Sustainable chemistry for the development of bioplastics is a crucial topic at RWTH.

Vestforbrænding is Denmark’s largest waste management company and energy company. Founded in 1970 on a “non-profit cost-coverage” principle, the owners of Vestforbrænding consist of 19 municipalities in the Copenhagen area and Northern Zealand. We handle upwards of 1 million tons of a waste each year, encountering 25% of the Danish household waste. Roughly 350 employees tend to approximately 950,000 people, including 60,000 businesses. This ownership model dictates our objective of maintaining a truly circular method of waste management. The close cooperation between Vestforbrænding and its owning municipalities makes it possible to secure waste resources directly at the source. Extracting waste value locally is the first step in a series of steps creating the Vestforbrænding waste orbit.