For three years, the cooperation network “BioPlastik” was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. Now, the partners are financing the network completely from their own pockets. This enables the success story of cross-industry collaborations in the network to be passed on: the partners are working on new value chains to bring innovative, environmentally friendly and competitive bioplastic products onto the market. Often, the alternative raw material base allows for advantageous product properties and opens up new fields of application. Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern Netzwerk GmbH (IBB Netzwerk GmbH) continues to perform the network management.
Prof. Haralabos Zorbas, Managing Director of IBB Netzwerk GmbH, explains the opportunities and advantages of the cooperation network: “What later becomes an innovative product often starts as a vague project idea, and various end products are conceivable. We establish contacts, also through our network meetings, to which we regularly invite potential new partners; we bring together appropriate project consortia from companies and academic institutes; and we support the partners in the elaboration and submission of project proposals for funding. The decision of the partners to consolidate the network by their own contribution shows that the network provides added value, and that our work is accepted and valued.”
The first approved project within “BioPlastik” was a biodegradable bone-adhesive to be used in bone fractures in the medical field. Similarly, fibers are developed for implants that degrade in the body. Another consortium is working on adhesives that can widely be used as a favorable bio-alternative. The “biodegradable” property convinces in many areas: the network partners also produce coffee capsules and catering utensils made of bioplastics. In addition to sustainable products, the network is keen to provide competitive products and is striving for both niche and mass markets.
IBB Netzwerk GmbH initiated the cooperation network “BioPlastik”, and the partners have been funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy within the framework of the “Central Innovation Program for SMEs” since January 2014. After the maximum funding period of three years, the network is now passed on only by contributions from the partners. The consolidation of “BioPlastik” involves ten industries and eight academic institutes.