Three public-private partnership projects led by ICN2 receive funding from the Spanish Research Agency

By December 12, 2022ICN2

The projects SOLAR, REFILCAP, and COVICAP, all led by members of the Nanostructured Functional Materials Group at the BIST centre ICN2, have been selected for funding through the 2021 Public-Private Partnership Grants by the Spanish Research Agency. In collaboration with private companies, the group will apply nanotechnologies to concrete needs.

The Spanish Research Agency (Agencia Estatal De Investigación) will fund three new projects led by members of the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials Group (Nanosfun) in partnership with private companies. The objective of the Public-Private Partnership Grants is to support projects developed in cooperation by companies and research organisations, with the aim not only to promote the development of new technologies, but also to facilitate their transfer to industry and consequent creation of commercial products or services.

In the funded projects –SOLAR, REFILCAP and COVICAP—, the Nanosfun group will apply its expertise in thin photochromic materials, catechol-based polymeric films and nanoencapsulation to address specific needs. Obtaining this funding confirms the Nanosfun group’s commitment and ability to collaborate with local companies and to push the integration of novel technologies into products that can reach the market.

The SOLAR project, led by senior researcher Dr. Claudio Roscini, will develop smart windows, able to self-regulate solar light transmission and thus to strongly increase the energy efficiency of buildings. It will be carried out in collaboration with Fundación Idonial and, mainly, Futurechrome S.L., a spin-off company of the Nanosfun group itself, which owns the patent of the photochromic nanotechnology that will be used to produced films for application on windows.

REFILCAP, whose primary investigators are senior researcher Dr. Salvio Suarez-García and group leader Prof. Daniel Ruiz-Molina, will produce a coating for pool filters able to capture harmful contaminant in swimming pool water. In collaboration with Bonet Especialitats Hidroquímiques (BEHQ SL), the Nanosfun group will develop a bio-inspired polymeric material, based on catechols, with retention capabilities for chloramines and other compounds that can be generated in swimming pool water as a result of reactions between commonly used disinfectants and organic matter.

Catechol-based polymers are at the core of the nanotechnology that COVICAP will apply to produce coatings for improved facemasks, which will more effectively prevent virus contagion by airborne transmission. They will combine these bio-inspired polymers with microcapsules containing virucidal substances, as well as a fragrance. The aim is to obtain a fibre coating that would trap and kill the viruses and that would last much longer since, due to the encapsulation, substances are released gradually, over a span of time. This project, led by group leader Prof. Daniel Ruiz-Molina, will be developed together with Creaciones Aromáticas Industrales S.A. (CARINSA), a company with which the Nanosfun group has already successfully collaborated in the past.

The SOLAR project is supported by grant CPP2021-008883 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR.

The REFILCAP project is supported by grant CPP2021-008570 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR.

The COVICAP project is supported by grant CPP2021-008348 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR.

Learn more on the ICN2 website.