IN FLOW is an innovative 3 year-R&D project involving 4 leading partners from the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) (University of Liège, University of Maastricht, Sirris, DWI-Leibniz Institut für Interaktive Materialien) for the formulation, characterisation and engineering of biochemical products. Its main challenge is to introduce new (bio)degradable packaging technologies for the fast and cheap formulation of active ingredients in pills or creams, for example. The methodologies applied will allow companies to create new products with high potential for, among others, the health care and personal care industry.

The current knowledge (TRL3) is partly the result of a previous Interreg IV-A BioMIMedics project (watch here) involving a strong collaboration of 3 of IN FLOW's partners. IN FLOW (TRL6) knowledge and technology will enable public and private actors to bring their products to market more quickly. The technology uses state-of-the-art devices and know-how designed in-house to create new (bio)degradable formulations that encapsulate an active ingredient. These capsules can be used in end products such as pills, for the application areas of the health, nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

The 3 main objectives of IN FLOW are as follows

1.

To ensure the sustainability of the technologies, an open technology platform will be set up, including technology, protocols and formulations from the IN FLOW portfolio. All the equipment and installations necessary for the production and validation of the final product will be made available for collaboration with companies, during and after the execution of the project via this platform.

2.

The second objective is to develop the infrastructure, technologies and R&D protocols for the production of biodegradable capsules. By focusing on innovation with a market-oriented R&D approach (TRL3-TRL6) and investments in industrial-scale production facilities and protocols, IN FLOW will provide real R&D support to industries for the introduction of products to the market.

3.

R&D is based on 7 trajectories, the technology applied to synthesize degradable biomaterials that meet the needs of end users. The trajectories are defined and managed in the Advisory Board (AB) composed of project partners and SMEs. Interaction between all stakeholders provides an R&D base that will generate and improve cross-border synergies.

The 7 trajectories

The seventh trajectory will be performed between academic/research project partners. The 6 other trajectories currently discussed and the potentially involved project partners and companies are the following ones:
Trajectories are still open to any other companies who would be interested in collaborating.

1. Degradable hydrophobic PPE as alternative to PLGA/PLA for resorbable implants

Responsible partner: ULiège-CITOS
Involved SMEs: BRS (equipment), MITHRA (application)

2. Amino acids encapsulation in polymer or silica micro-particles for sustained release during cell-culture

Responsible partner: DWI
Involved SMEs:
Kuhner Shaker, MosaMeat, Snowfox UG, Tessenderlo Group

3. Encapsulation of lipophilic ingredients in silica or hybrid particles for cosmetics (1 - 5 μm)

Responsible partner: ULiège-CERM
Involved SMEs: CRB Benelux, MUMC+, SpheraMed, Tessenderlo Group

4. Encapsulation of hydrophilic ingredients in hydrogel particles for cosmetics and fertilizers

Responsible partner: ULiège-CERM
Involved SMEs: CRB Benelux, Manetco

5. Biocompatible Micro-and Nanospheres & related Encapsulations for Applied R&D, Engineering, Life Sciences, Food and Medical Applications

Responsible partner: Maastricht University
Involved SMEs: AHV International, MosaMeat, MUMC+, SpheraMed, VITO

6. Encapsulation of lipophilic drugs in nanoparticles (< 200nm) for pharmaceutical applications

Responsible partner: ULiège-CERM
Involved SMEs: BRS (equipment), EyeD Pharma, Manetco

The main objective of IN FLOW is to bring IN FLOW technology to TRL6 level, providing the following results:

 

  1. Implementation of IN FLOW technology at the industrial level:
    efficient transfer of this technology from the academic laboratory to the industrial scale (kg)
  2. Provide solutions / protocols for the preparation of precursors and capsules (biodegradable polymers), and the formulation / encapsulation of active compounds
  3. Biofunctional / safety evaluation of capsules and final formulations for their specific application
  4. Production of 2 final products on a kg scale with a high potential for market testing (TRL7)
  5. Creation of a community in EMR and an open technological platform IN FLOW with production facilities in academic centers (technology transfer) with sustainable value for all and allowing the training of workers and students.

 

Collaborating cross-border, an added value

 

The added value of cross-border collaboration is provided by the contribution of BioMIMedics TRL3 created by RWTH Aachen - DWI, CERM ULiège and Maastricht University. By extending this collaboration and strengthening the potential for industrialization by partnering with Sirris, a strong consortium is ensured. Through the market-oriented approach, defined by private end-users (SMEs) through the platform, IN FLOW will create innovative products and technologies. By combining EMR's expertise, technologies and advanced infrastructures into an open innovation platform, IN FLOW proactively creates a larger scale synergy for all stakeholders.


THANK YOU

The IN FLOW project is carried out under the Interreg V-A Euregio Meuse-Rhine Programme, with €2.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). By investing EU funds in Interreg projects, the European Union invests directly in economic development, innovation, territorial development, social inclusion and education in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

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