17 June 2014: BIOMETAL DEMO SC-PCC Committees, held in Faro (Portugal).
The consortium of project BIOMETAL DEMO gathered in Faro (Portugal) to hold the first Steering Committee since the project was launched, together with the Project Coordination Committee. All partners took part in the meeting, which was held in the facilities of partner Centre of Marine Science at University of Algarve.
A review of the activities carried out up to date and those to be performed in the following months was done, comparing the progress of activities against the schedule. The most relevant points in the deliverables submitted to the European Commission were commented. Partners were informed by CONTACTICA on the procedure to follow for the first reporting period. After the meeting, partners visited the facilities of CCMAR and were shown the process that they are developing.
4 June 2014: Meeting of Coordinators of proposals selected to apply for the second stage of Horizon 2020, organised by CDTI.
On June 4, the Centre for Industrial Technology Development of Spain (CDTI) organised a meeting where the coordinators of those projects accepted to advance to the second stage of proposal within the Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine and Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bioeconomy programme in Societal Challenges.
CONTACTICA took part as coordinator of the proposal EcoPROLIVE, submitted to the Sustainable Food Security call.
During the event, representatives from CDTI commented the results from the first stage of proposals and an evaluator presented his opinion on these proposals. Finally, an analysis of the evaluation results was carried out.
28 May 2014: WHEYSAN SC-PCC Committees, held in Aranda de Duero (Spain).
The consortium of the FP7 project WHEYSAN gathered in Aranda de Duero (Spain) to hold its third Steering Committee along with the Project Coordination Committee. All partners took part in the meeting, which was held in the facilities of SME partner CITRUS.
The activities carried out in the development of the sanitizing product were commented and bottlenecks found during the previous six months of the project were discussed, proposing the correspondent solutions to carry out the activities in the following months in the most efficient manner. After the meeting, partners visited the premises of CITRUS, where the implementation of the process will take place.
8 May 2014: The project proposal EcoPROLIVE, coordinated by CONTACTICA, goes through to the second stage (Horizon 2020).
EcoPROLIVE, a proposal for a new Project within the Sustainable Food Security call in Horizon 2020, has advanced to the second stage for proposals, after receiving a positive evaluation for its concept and impact potential.
The proposal, which is being coordinated by CONTACTICA, targets the complete exploitation of the health potential of olives to obtain high-added value products, and will be submitted to the second stage of proposals to the correspondent topic, which closes on the 26th of June 2014.
25 April 2014: LIGNOFOOD Steering Committee and Project Coordination Committee (SC-PCC) in Graz.
The consortium of the FP7 project LIGNOFOOD gathered in Graz (Austria) to hold the first Steering Committee since the project was launched, together with the Project Coordination Committee. All partners took part in the meeting, which was held in the facilities of partner IBB-TUG (Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering at Graz Technology University).
A review of the activities carried out up to date and those to be performed in the following months was done, comparing the progress of activities against the schedule. The most relevant points in the deliverables submitted to the European Commission were highlighted. Partners were informed by CONTACTICA on the procedure to follow for the first reporting period. After the meeting, the consortium visited the facilities of the host partner.
10 April 2014: CONTACTICA takes part in the Coordinator’s day, held in Brussels.
The Research Executive Agency (REA) of the European Commission, organised on 10 April an infoday targeted to coordinators of those projects funded by the Research for the benefit of SMEs programme.
CONTACTICA took part in this meeting as coordinator of LIGNOFOOD; which is financed by the FP7 under the mentioned programme.
The REA presented the different actions that they carry out to support SMEs and the general principles that rule this financing programme, as well as the role of the coordinator within the consortium and as contact with the REA.
The importance of demonstration activities was highlighted, to prove the feasibility of the solution developed and to increase the impact of the results. Dissemination activities are crucial to increase the visibility of the project, stimulate interaction with other potential associates and to market the product, ensuring the success of the project.
The SME Instrument within Horizon was explained in detail by the Executive Agency for SMEs: its objectives, scope and the desired SME profile, as well as the different phases within the program to access funding to develop, grow and have an international impact.
2 April 2014: CONTACTICA takes part in “AGUA e I+D+i”, a workshop organised by the Spanish Water Technology Platform in Madrid.
The Spanish Water Technology Platform (SWTP/PTEA) held last Wednesday 2 April a technical workshop geared to inform and guide agents in this sector in order to facilitate new R&D&I projects related to water, including also a description of the new European and national programs for financing instruments and the new requirements for the composition of a proposal. In addition, representatives from some of the projects that were selected on the WATER INNO-DEMO-2013 (FP7) call presented the objectives of their respective projects and shared some advice from these recent success cases.
CONTACTICA and the research group of Extractive Metalurgy-Biohydrometallurgy from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, as coordinator and RTD of project BIOMETAL DEMO, respectively, commented the main objectives of the project, which was selected in said FP7 call, as well as the importance of the demonstration of the results in three demo pilot plants to remove heavy metals from contaminated effluents from three different industrial sectors: metal surface treatment, ceramics and glazes and mine drainages.
17 February 2014: CONTACTICA is interviewed for the RTVE radio program Eureka regarding the new FP7 project BIOMETAL DEMO.
On 17 February, an interview with CONTACTICA as coordinator of the FP7 project BIOMETAL DEMO, was broadcast in Eureka, a program dedicated to research and innovation on the Spanish radio channel RTVE.
During this interview, the aim of the project which is the remediation of wastewater polluted with heavy metals through innovative biotechnologies was presented, as well as the processes involved and the objective to demonstrate them in three demo pilot plants by the end of its four year lifetime as a project.
24 January 2014: CONTACTICA, coordinator of project BIOMETAL DEMO, at the WATER INNOVATION IN ACTION event in Brussels.
The European Commission, through the Water Innovation in Action, organized an event where the 11 new projects funded through the FP7-ENV-2013-WATER-INNO-DEMO call were presented. The aim of these projects is to develop innovative solutions for different water-related challenges, which will facilitate a more efficient implementation of European water policy, as well as create new market opportunities for SMEs and industrial enterprises.
CONTACTICA took part in the event as coordinator of project BIOMETAL DEMO, funded in the mentioned FP7 call, and gave a short presentation highlighting the objectives and activities to carry out within the project.
During the meeting other aspects related to cooperation among agents in the water sector were commented, among them, the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP on Water), where these projects are expected contribute to the aims of this program. The main challenges that water-related initiatives at European and international level face were discussed, as well as the different funding opportunities through instruments as Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds, among others.
1 December 2013: Project BIOMETAL DEMO (FP7), coordinated by CONTACTICA, has been launched.
The project "Biometal demonstration plant for the biological rehabilitation of metal-bearing wastewaters" (BIOMETAL DEMO), which is part of the Environment call under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission, is led by Spanish partners and seeks to validate biotechnological solutions for the tertiary treatment of industrial wastewater contaminated with heavy metals, which are a major environmental issue as they are highly toxic and hazardous even at low concentrations.
BIOMETAL DEMO seeks to provide a technical and economically viable solution to industries that generate wastewater contaminated with heavy metals in order to fulfil the increasingly stringent legislation. Furthermore, BIOMETAL DEMO aims to improve the state of the environment by demonstrating the possibility of using industrial-scale bioprocesses for the removal of heavy metals from water.
On December 3, 2013, the first meeting among partners to launch the project BIOMETAL DEMO was held in Salamanca. The main objective of project BIOMETAL DEMO is to provide a competitive solution for the treatment of industrial water contaminated, which will be performed through two biotechnological processes: biosorption (on biopolymers and biomass wastes from the food, marine and textile industries) and bioprecipitation (carried out by immobilized enzymes and by microorganisms).
In order to reach the objectives of the project, a first stage focused on research at laboratory scale will be carried out, in which different biotechnological processes will be studied, identifying the most suitable technique, both from a technical and economical point of view. This way, the selected processes will be scaled up and 3 pilot plants will be developed in order to treat acid mine drainages (Portugal), wastewater from a galvanizing industry (Spain) and from a ceramic tiles and glazes industry (Spain). These activities will be carried out by a multidisciplinary consortium research groups of excellence and companies.
The project consortium comprises companies and research centres from Portugal, France and Spain. It consists of 9 partners: Contactica SL (Madrid company focused on R&D, project coordinator), Industrial Goñabe S.L. (empresa española de galvanizados), LCW Consult S.A. (Portuguese engineering and environmental design), Servyeco S.L. (empresa española de tratamientos de aguas), Hidrolab S.L.(Spanish water treatment company),
Alès School of Mines (ARMINES) (French research group with expertise in biosorption by biopolymers), Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve
(Portuguese research group expert in bioprecipitation by microorganisms), Faculty of Chemistry at Complutense University of Madrid (Spanish research group with expertise in biosorption processes by means of biomass) and Research and Development Centre of Water Technology (CIDTA) at the University of Salamanca (Spanish expert group in biocatalysis research applied to the treatment of contaminated water).
The project has a budget of € 4.3 MLL and has a European Grant of € 2.9 MLL. The duration of the project is 4 years (December 2013– December 2017).
1 November 2013: Start of project LIGNOFOOD (FP7), coordinated by CONTACTICA.
On the 25th of November, partners from project LIGNOFOOD gathered on the premises of the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, to hold the first meeting of this just-started project within the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.
The main objective of LIGNOFOOD is to design competitive solutions for the participating SMEs through the development of a biotechnological process of production of healthy ingredients from natural resources. For this purpose and thanks to the multidisciplinary consortium of research groups of excellence and biotechnology-based:
Validation of biotechnology for the extraction of ingredients from a lignocellulosic by-product..
Optimization of the production process.
In-vitro assays to validate the functionality of the ingredients and their incorporation in food matrices as nutraceutical supplements.
Prototypes of fortified foods, sensory studies and consumer acceptance testing.
Specifically, the project will enable the production of xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) and xylitol using agricultural residues as feedstock. The XOS are indigestible dietary compounds that have recently been shown to stimulate growth and/or modify the metabolic activity of beneficial bacteria in our gut, improving intestinal health, and therefore are considered prebiotic compounds that have promising commercial perspectives. Xylitol, the second compound to be obtained within project LIGNOFOOD, is a low calorie sweetener that is suitable for diabetics and can be used as a sugar substitute, due to its low glycemic index. The market trends of xylitol show a large and growing demand expected in a few years, while market supply of this compound will not be able to meet demand.
A multidisciplinary consortium of highly experienced research groups and technology companies will validate different extraction biotechnologies, optimizing the processes; perform in- vitro testing, developing prototypes of fortified foods and carry out sensory studies and test consumer acceptance.
The project coordinator is Contactica, a Spanish SME. Other project partners are the Food Technology and Innovation Centre La Rioja (CITA, Spain), the SMEs Isanatur Spain, Envirohemp (Spain), Biotech Power (Italy) and Vital Zade (Turkey), the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of the Spanish National Research Council (ICP- CSIC, Spain), the Technical University of Graz (Austria), niversity of Selcuk (Turkey) and the technology centre TNO (Netherlands).
Project LIGNOFOOD belongs to the Research for the benefit of SMEs call under the Capacities line of the 7th Framework Programme. It has a total budget of €2,026,059; of which €1,605,000 is funded by the European Commission.
2 October 2013: WHEYSAN Review meeting and SC-PCC Committees, held in Brussels
The consortium of project WHEYSAN gathered in Brussels (Belgium) to hold the first evaluation meeting, carried out by the Project Officer assigned to the project and an external evaluator. WHEYSAN partners presented the activities carried out within the project and the results obtained so as to review the progress made up to date.
After the review meeting, partners held the second Steering Committee along the Project Coordination Committee, where the technical aspects were discussed and the conclusions and feedback from the previous evaluation was taken into account during the planning of the next activities to be carried out.
19 June 2013: CONTACTICA participates in the workshop “Proyectos Smart City + Horizon 2020, Colaboración y financiación europea de la innovación”, by Madrid City Council.
On June 19, Catedral de la Innovación from the Madrid City Council held an event regarding ongoing projects related to Smart Cities, and where they will be positioned within Horizon 2020.
The event featured presentations on projects funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) related to Smart Cities and challenges for urban logistics, urban sensing, and networking for intra-urban accessibility. The Madrid City Council, together with Anova IT, commented their experience in projects of this scope. The most important aspects of projects funded under FP7 for Smart Cities were also discussed.
The opportunities provided by the European Union, such as support for the internalization of the ICT sector and opportunities for companies in this field within Horizon 2020, were presented by Deloitte and AproTECH (AMETIC), respectively. Manuel Román from CONTACTICA presented the experience of the company and the main aspects for the successful development of consortia. UPM commented funding opportunities for innovation for Smart Cities and activities within the European Innovation Partnerships for Smart Cities of the European Commission.
11 June 2013: CARVOC SC-PCC Committees, held in Basingstoke (United Kingdom).
The consortium that comprises project CARVOC gathered in Basingstoke (United Kingdom), where the first Steering Committee, along the Project Coordination Committee were held to discuss technical aspects concerning the project. The meeting took place in partner’s MAST Carbon facilities. The activities carried out in the development of the activated carbon and applications were commented and bottlenecks found during the previous six months of the project were discussed, proposing the correspondent solutions to carry out the activities in the following months in the most efficient manner.
20 Mayo 2013: WHEYSAN SC-PCC Committees, held in Dublin.
Partners participating in project WHEYSAN gathered in Dublin (Ireland) for its first Steering Committee, held along the Project Coordination Committee. During the meeting, which took place in the premises of the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the work carried out during the first six months of the project, as well as activities to be carried out in the following months were reviewed and the most relevant points concerning the deliverables submitted up to date to the European Commission were highlighted. The progress of activities was compared against the schedule and partners were informed by CONTACTICA on the procedure to follow for the first reporting period. After the meeting, partners visited DIT’s facilities.
9 May 2013: Catedral de la Innovación and CONTACTICA organised an infoday on European funding for innovation in Madrid.
CONTACTICA, in cooperation with La Catedral de la Innovación from the Madrid City Council, organised an infoday to present the lessons learned from the 7th Framework Programme, which will finish by the end of the year, and to introduce the new programme for European financing instruments for R&D&I for the period 2014-2020.
The SME CONTACTICA will share its experience on how to facilitate that companies, R&D agents and other institutions in the city of Madrid apply in the most competitive manner to the new financing program of Horizon 2020.
This instrument will be the main mechanism for the development of international cooperation and will promote, among other concepts, projects for Smart Cities that are related to the necessities that Madrid as a green, technological and innovative city faces.
1 de diciembre 2012: Inicio del proyecto europeo CARVOC "Innovative eco-friendly activated carbon filters for harmful vapors & gases VOC Purification" (FP7).
Project CARVOC “Innovative ecological filters made of active carbon used for elimination of volatile organic compounds” has as objective to help solving the problem of volatile organic compounds released to the atmosphere and the accidental disposal of toxic industrial gases. To this aim, CARVOC will prepare innovative active carbon filters from hemp wastes.
This initiative, funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme , has a budget of € 1.5 million, and will be active until the end of 2014. The countries involved are: Spain (Universidad de Alicante, Contactica S.L. and Envirohemp), France (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes and TC PLASTIC) and GB (Mast Carbon International Ltd and Kouloula Limited).
The focus of CARVOC is to create filters able to adsorb chemical substances emitted by highly polluting industries, which will be integrated in industrial systems for filtration and in personal protection equipment, in order to abate volatile organic compounds in air, which are highly contaminant, used and produced in a lot of industrial and daily applications.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can act as precursors of the formation of ozone over the terrestrial surface where its presence is negative and also some of them are highly toxic and carcinogenic substances. Besides, some of these compounds also favour the destruction of ozone in the upper layers of the atmosphere, where this ozone is a chemical compound that protects us from the highest solar radiation.
To carry out the fabrication of filters, wastes from hemp will be used from agriculture and an industrial process will be applied. It is a very convenient and innovative raw material since industrial hemp represents a sustainable farming product with beneficial environmental features, that cannot be offered by other plants and its residues have interesting advantages for the preparation of activated carbon, a porous material with a high superficial area able to adsorb high quantities of substances, both gaseous and liquid.
Thanks to this Project, the SMEs will benefit from the R&D work performed with the aim of valorising this residue and using the obtained materials in the concrete applications for eliminating volatile organic compounds.
1 November 2012: The European project WHEYSAN “Natural whey-based disinfection formula: a solution for the sanitizing of whole and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables” (FP7) has been launched
The main objective of project WHEYSAN is to develop a natural alternative to chlorine for post- harvest and IV range of fruits and vegetables based on the valorisation of dairy products of treatments. WHEYSAN project partners gathered in CITA’s facilities in La Rioja (Spain) to hold their first meeting and launch the project, which is part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.
The project WHEYSAN, , led by the company Agrofield Rioja SL seeks first to provide a solution to the dairy industry, which generates a high amount of whey as by-product, creating with a high polluting load to the environment. The project will then research and develop an alternative to chlorine as a disinfectant for fruits and vegetables.
WHEYSAN will provide competitive solutions for SME-participating partners through the development of a natural sanitizer for the treatment of post-harvest and IV range of fruit and vegetables. In other words, the latest scientific advances in basic research will make possible to transform an abundant waste product such as whey into an environmentally friendly and added-value product.
As a result, the sanitizing product will be a viable alternative to the use of chlorine for sanitizing fruits and vegetables. Different methods for the application of the product will be investigated, such as thermal fogging, spraying or immersion.
The consortium is made of companies, associations and research centres in Portugal, UK, Ireland, Serbia and Spain, comprised by Agrofield SL (Rioja company that is an expert in the sanitizing treatment of fruits and vegetables and is the project coordinator), Highland Fine Cheeses Ltd (UK), Campotec - Comercialização Consultadoria of Hortofrutícolas SA (Portugal), Ecosoil Ltd (Serbia), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), Association for the R&D Food (CTIC - CITA, scientific coordination), Citrus Lift SLU (Spain), and Contactica SL (Spain).
The project has a budget of EUR 1,113,557.2 and will receive a grant of 862,000 euros from the European Commission. The implementation period is 24 months.
26 September 2012: Workshop on funding for R&D&I in biotechnology applied to agri-food traditional sectors.
CONTACTICA, in cooperation with La Catedral de la Innovación from the Madrid City Council, celebrated a practical session to discuss success cases of access to the 7th Framework Programme financing instrument without the need to have the required capacities in-house, with the aim of minimising costs and maximising the success of the project.
During the event, CONTACTICA commented the different opportunities in the short term for enterprises and research centres to market innovation so as to produce marketable R&D and innovation related to biotechnology applied to the valorisation and optimization processes in more traditional sectors such as the agri-food industry.
The workshop presented the diverse FP7 calls for November 2012 of research for the profit of SMEs and for February 2013 in biotechnology, food industry, agriculture and fishing.
The aim is to facilitate the access to the development of new products which can improve the competitiveness of companies in the long term, through the optimization of the processes and by building associations with those industrial and scientific partners which would allow to minimise the risks for the innovation project.