COUNTLESS Project Consortium

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VITO is an independent Flemish research organization in the area of cleantech and sustainable development, with its head office in Mol, Belgium. It implements customer-oriented research and develops innovative products and processes for both the public and private sectors in the areas of chemistry, environment, materials, food and energy. The multidisciplinary business unit Separation and Conversion Technology (SCT) has organized its strategic research program around the theme ‘Sustainable Chemistry’. One of the focus points on innovation for sustainable chemistry is the use of alternative feedstocks, such as lignin, carbohydrates, to create new value chains. SCT has been active in the lignin field since 2012 and continuously improved its expertise, related to both lignin processing and application (polymer) development . Additionally, VITO initiated Biorizon, a shared research centre focusing on technology development to produce functionalized biobased aromatics for performance materials, coatings and chemicals. In this context, VITO has launched in 2018 the ERDF LignoValue Pilot project aiming at the design and construction of a pilot plant for the depolymerization of lignin into a mixture of biobased aromatics.

COUNTLESS demonstrates the cost-effective production of lignin-based aromatic building blocks and their application as novel dedicated platform chemicals to unlock a range of products, from high volume/low cost to low volume/high cost, hence replacing their fossil-based counterparts. The outcome of COUNTLESS will contribute to a more sustainable future, by creating new value chains based on lignin. Using the LignoValue Pilot infrastructure platform, we aim to deliver the necessary techno-economic proof-of-concepts for the sustainable and cost-effective production of lignin-based functional building blocks.

Kelly
Servaes

 
Bloom is a Swiss chemical company with the mission to create the most sustainable and high performing molecules for a green and viable chemical industry. The company, a spin-off from a leading European university (EPFL), developed a scalable, highly efficient biomass conversion technology – Aldehyde-Assisted Fractionation (AAF) – to separate plant-based materials, such as wood or agricultural wastes, into chemical building blocks while preserving their natural potential. The breakthrough biorefinery process turns up to 75% of all biogenic carbon into cost-competitive specialty chemicals which can be used in a myriad of applications from textiles to fragrances, over cosmetics, bioplastics, composites and fuels. The company’s business model includes the direct sale of specialty chemicals combined with licensing of the technology.

In the consortium, Bloom aims to deliver un-condensed lignin which upon depolymerization can substitute high quality building blocks currently used by the chemical industry. Bloom focuses on upstream processes and counts on COUNTLESS’s partners to incorporate its ingredients in sustainable products formulations. We are optimistic regarding the project since covering the full value chain from raw biomass feedstock to end-products has the potential to accelerate market access of new bio-based solutions.

Ydna M.
Questell-Santiago

Chloé
Wegmann

Antoine
Bourgeois

Lucas
Mayoraz

With a strategy centered on people and sustainability, Braskem is engaged in contributing to the value chain to strengthen the Circular Economy. Braskem’s 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improving people’s lives through sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics. With its corporate DNA rooted in innovation, Braskem offers a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse industries, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, health and hygiene, and more. With industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Mexico and Germany, Braskem exports its products to clients in over 70 countries.

Jerusa
Roeder

The Cluster Industrial Biotechnology, CLIB is an international open innovation cluster of large companies, SMEs, academic institutes and universities, as well as other stakeholders active in biotechnology and the circular bioeconomy as a whole. The cluster comprises over 100 members with a share of about 25 % international members. The overall goal of CLIB is to network stakeholders along and across value chains and to identify new opportunities for innovation, projects, and business. Through its strong network, we help develop cross-sectoral biotech and bio-based solutions for sustainable processes and products. In COUNTLESS, we are responsible for the Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation Work Package.

Tatjana
Schwabe-Marković

Sabine
Kortmann

Tobias
Klement

Daren Laboratories (DLABS), based in Ness Ziona, Israel, strategically located near the renowned Weizmann Institute. operates at the intersection of academia and industry, offering practical solutions to complex research challenges. Our mission began with the aim of resolving intricate R&D issues in diverse fields such as chemistry, materials, biopolymers, synthesis, and industrial processes.

DLABS has evolved into an innovation hub, fostering collaborations and driving research. At the core of our operations lies the Daren Innovation Center, accommodating more than twenty start-ups, highlighting our commitment to nurturing pioneering ideas. Our partnerships extend globally, encompassing governmental authorities, major industry players like Teva and Orbotech, and emerging start-ups. With our unique positioning, DLABS possesses the ability to convert visionary concepts into tangible products. Our expertise ranges from biochemistry to chemical physics, enabling us to offer a diverse set of capabilities.

Dr. Elliot
Silcoff

Dr. Anna
Munder

Fibenol is an Estonian origin wood residues valorisation and green technology industrial company. Our flagship demo plant is situated in Imavere in Estonia.

Our goal is to shift the chemical and materials industry to sustainability by replacing fossil chemicals with high-performance low-carbon hardwood residues-based biomaterials – lignin, wood sugars and specialty cellulose in various industry fields from construction sector, energy saving and packaging to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

IFEU – Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg conducts research and provides a worldwide consultancy service in relation to all major environmental and sustainability issues. With more than 40 years of experience, IFEU is one of the most important environmental research institutes in Germany. It has an extensive track record in areas such as waste management and packaging materials, transport & mobility, renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as food and bio-based systems. IFEU is especially renowned for its expertise (>25 years) in the field of life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental impact assessment (EIA) as well as on integrated life cycle sustainability assessment (ILCSA) since it came on place. IFEU is and has been leading work packages on sustainability assessment in numerous EU-funded projects. Our work is characterised by experience and independence combined with a practical and target-based approach. IFEU currently employs about 100 staff with a background in natural sciences, engineering and social sciences at its sites in Heidelberg and Berlin. Role in the Project: Leader of Integrated Lifecycle Sustainability Assessment.

Heiko
Keller

Maintaining its uninterrupted production for half a century in the wood-based panel industry, Kastamonu Entegre is a global-scale company engaged in production in 6 countries, with investments in Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Italy and Turkey. In the USA, it has a company that carries out wood chip supply and logistics processes. Kastamonu Entegre has become the world’s fifth largest company in the wood-based panel industry with its overseas investments for 25 years, and has been among the top three manufacturers in Europe. It is one of the four largest manufacturers in the world with each of its main product groups; namely MDF, particle board, laminate flooring, and door panel. It undertakes 6% of the world laminate flooring production alone.

Acting with the mission of preserving natural balance and contributing to the society, the company is one of the three companies that prepared the sustainability report in the industry. It carries out studies on product and process development, efficiency increase, efficient resource utilization and advanced material technologies in its R&D center in Istanbul, which it has set up to develop technologies of the future.

Gülşah
Balamut Ümran

Burcu
Alkan Özden

Beste
Koçoğlu

SOPREMA is a family-owned construction materials company based in France with more than 100 years of history. With 120 plants in the world, SOPREMA designs and produces numerous technologies for waterproofing and insulation materials. SOPREMA employs more than 10 000 people in the world and has a turnover of 4,8 billion €. The group operates in 90 countries, has 23 R&D centers focused primarily on sustainable development and 46 training centers spread across 16 countries. Identifying alternatives fossil-based materials has been one of the key research topics at SOPREMA for more than 10 years. Several biobased and recycled products are part of the current portfolio, and the development of other sustainable solutions is in the works especially for polyurethane materials and their equivalents.

Antoine
Duval

Alexandru
Sarbu

Ellen Van
Der Auwera

Alexis
Roulet

Coming soon

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is a state owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company established by law and operating under the ownership steering of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

VTT is a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) whose activities are focused on three areas: Carbon neutral solutions, Sustainable products and materials, and Digital technologies. VTT is impact-driven and takes advantage from its wide multi-technological knowledge base to strengthen Finnish and European industrial competitiveness. VTT can combine different technologies, produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, and create business intelligence and value added for its stakeholders.

VTT has a staff of 2213, net turnover in 2022 was 165 M€ and other operational incomes were 96 M€. Over the years, VTT has gained vast experience from participation and coordination of numerous European projects including R&D Framework Programme projects and other thematic frameworks and programmes. VTT is ranked among the leading European RTOs. In December 2017, VTT has been recognised with the “HR Excellence in Research” award by the European Commission.

Petri
Widsten

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