Talent4BBI Summer School Empowers Early-Stage Researchers in Bio-Based Industries

The MSCA Talent4BBI Summer School, held at Novamont from June 26th to 30th, in Novara, Italy, provided a transformative learning experience for early-stage researchers (ESRs) aiming to excel in the bio-based industries. Organized by Melissa Nava from Novamont and the Talent4BBI management team, Prof. Kevin O’Connor and Cathy Quinn from BiOrbic, the summer school covered a diverse range of topics, including sustainability and biodegradability of bio-based products, market constraints, product development, regulations, and life cycle assessment, offering the ESRs a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the field.

Engaging in group activities fostered a deeper comprehension of product market fit, supply chain intricacies, and impactful advertising campaigns. Additionally, lab demonstrations showcased innovations in the bioeconomy, particularly in the realm of biodegradation.

Day one kicked off with presentations from the ten ESRs – early stage researchers of the Talent4BBI program. The participants received valuable feedback from the Talent4BBI consortium partners (industry and academia) on the progress of their projects and engaged in fruitful discussions. The ESRs also presented the communication strategy for the program, led by Ana Del Hierro, Lorenzo Tejada, and Natalia Silverio. In addition, all consortium members held its first town hall project meeting to review progress to date.

Throughout the following days, the researchers were treated to informative presentations from experts in the field and workshops on developing bio-based products. Luigi Cappuzzi introduced Novamont’s group and its diverse portfolio, highlighting their achievements in bioplastics, biochemicals, and by products of renewable origin. In the workshop organized by Pieter Ravaglia, the ESRs worked on the development of bio-based products from different feedstock, thinking about the production process, value chain, end-of-life, and marketing.

Christian Garaffa shed light on market constraints and opportunities in the biobased products sector. Angela Sagliano presented the market development of bioherbicides and biolubricants, stressing the significance of evaluating a product’s origin, performance, and end-life when striving for sustainability.

Roberto Marangon shared insights into the process of developing new bio-based products, covering ideation, value proposition, marketing, and promotion. His talk provided valuable guidance on turning innovative ideas into successful commercial ventures.

Maurizio Tosin highlighted the biodegradability and compostability of bio-based products produced by Novamont, and the researchers had the opportunity to witness the lab where these parameters are analyzed, gaining practical knowledge on evaluating product characteristics.

Francesco Razza, the sustainability manager of Novamont, focused on Life Cycle Assessment, a crucial tool for calculating the carbon footprint of bio-based and compostable bioplastics. His talk underscored the importance of a holistic approach to sustainability throughout the product life cycle.

The summer school concluded with a visit to Novamont’s laboratories, providing the ESRs with a deeper appreciation of the bioeconomy business model.

The Talent4BBI Summer School not only equipped the researchers with the necessary skills and knowledge for the bio-based industries but also fostered a vibrant engagement in the topic. The ESRs appreciate the exceptional team at Novamount for an unforgettable experience filled with learning and activities. Grazie mille!

Let’s push boundaries and pioneer sustainable solutions together!

Talent4BBI #T4BBI #Bioeconomy #Sustainability #Bioplastics #MSCA

Talent4BBI is funded under EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement n° 101034323. Text written by Ana Del Hiero, Lorenzo Tejada, and Natalia Silverio, supervised by Cathy Quinn.