The Department of Territory and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the PRUAB (UAB Research Park) have awarded the prizes to the two winning projects of the 8th edition of the Ideas Generation Program (Generació d'Idees), an initiative to provide tools to the research staff and PhD candidates in the creation of innovative solutions in the circular economy.
The first prize, awarded with 2,500 euros and six months of incubation in the Eureka building of the PRUAB, has been for the Greene3D project, which combines innovation and the circular economy. Laura López Mir, Ph.D. in Physics at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), and Beatriz Espinosa Aquino, a PhD researcher at the UAB Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), have proposed the development of a sustainable material for 3D printing from organic and bioplastic waste.
They propose to use as waste olive stones, a resource that is very abundant and accessible in Spain. Currently, olive stones are already used as a biofuel, as an additive for cement and ceramics or as a heavy metal filter. The two entrepreneurs add the advantage of customized manufacturing that offers 3D technology. The potential applications of the material include the absorption of heavy metals, air filtering or light industrial pannels as acoustic and thermal insulators.
Laura graduated from ICMAB on March 2018, with a PhD thesis on "Transport phenomena and magnetism in nanostructures of lanthanum manganite-based oxide thin films", supervised by Lluís Balcels, Carmen Ocal and Carlos Frontera. She is specialized in the growth and characterization of oxide thin films (in the nanoscale).
The second prize of the Program, which consists of 1,500 euros and 6 months of incubation in the Eureka building, has been given to Cerclab, led by Marta Santamaría, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC) and Gerardo Ezequiel and Erica Volpini, partners Founders of Seed. This is a 4.0 laboratory that aims to take advantage of recycled plastic to create new valueble products. From a perspective of social and collaborative innovation, Cerclab includes a physical space for the recovery and transformation of recycled plastic from packaging waste.
The projects have been evaluated by a jury formed by Iván Martinez, Deputy Chancellor of Research at the UAB; Mireia Cañellas, responsible for Sustainable Development of the Department of Territory and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Konstantinos Kourkoutas, coordinator of the CORE Sustainable and Sustainable Cities of the UAB, and Joan Fresno, technical manager of the Consorci per a la Gestió de Residus del Vallès Occidental.
More information on the other projects on this press release (in Catalan) by PRUAB