Synthesis, Characterization, Structure and

Properties of Novel Biodegradable Polyesters


European Commission

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 778092

Our Consortium


Polymat, University of The Basque Country, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

General description

Within the University of the Basque Country, POLYMAT is an internationally reputed university research institute in Polymer Science. The Basque Center for Macromolecular Design and Engineering, POLYMAT Fundazioa is a Basque Excellence Research Center focused on polymers promoted by the UPV/EHU and Ikerbasque Foundation. POLYMAT is a Foundation legally linked to the UPV/EHU by means of a Framework Collaboration Agreement. POLYMAT is devoted to develop a vibrant use-inspired fundamental research on synthesis, assembly and processing of polymers to contribute to the development of polymers, enabling addressing some of the technological needs of the 21st Century in fields such as energy, electronics, health care and sustainability.

Role and Profile of Key people

The role of POLYMAT, for the Advanced Multiphasic Polymers (AMP) group includes the overall management of the RISE project and hosting international researchers in the preparation of blends of several polyesters supplied by the different collaborators and the study of nucleation, crystallization, morphology and mechanical properties of all the materials developed in the project.

Alejandro J. Müller is the coordinator of this RISE Project and leads the work performed at UPV/EHU-POLYMAT.

Link Site Google Alejandro J. Müller

Link Scholar Google Alejandro J. Müller

University of Mons, Mons, Belgium

General description

The Centre for Innovation and Research on Materials and Polymers (CIRMAP) at University of Mons (UMONS) is internationally recognized in the design, the modelling, the synthesis, the (plasma)processing, the characterization (structural and morphological as well as physico-chemical properties and ultimate performances such as mechanical, fire resistance…) of polymer-based materials.

The major expertise of CIRMAP in terms of materials synthesis and processing is: (i) the synthesis of polymers of tailored and well controlled molecular structures, (ii) the production of (nano)filled polymers and/or (nano)filled polymer blends by (reactive) melt processing, reactive bulk impregnation, (nano)particle functionalization, grafting and encapsulation, (iii) the use of plasma techniques for the deposition and/or surface functionalization of thin films of polymers, metals and oxides.

Jean-Marie Raquez is the scientist at charge for the RISE BIODEST project at UMONS.

Role and Profile of Key people

UMONS has realized extensive research on the synthesis of complex architectures made of cyclic and dendritic polylactide-based polymers and their melt-blending with commercial PLA with the aim of expanding their application range.

University of Genova, Genova, Italy

General description

UNIGE is a long time established University with a good ranking among Italian Universities. The Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry (DCCI) offers Master programmes in Chemical Sciences, Industrial Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering. Moreover, the Department manages the PhD School in Science and Technology of the Chemistry and of Materials.

Role and Profile of Key people

The role of the UNIGE groups in the RISE project is summarized in the following: 1) Synthesis of novel biobased monomers, i.e., lactones and hydroxyacids for the production of polyesters.  2) synthesis of biobased soluble nucleating agents for PLA and other biobased polyesters; 3) Characterization of the crystallization behavior of new biobased polyesters and of their enantiomeric blends, both for the virgin and nucleated materials.

Dario Cavallo and Lisa Moni are leading the work of UNIGE within BIODEST.

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

General description

Founded in 1900, the University is one of the leading research-based universities in the United Kingdom; the breadth of research expertise is a distinctive characteristic of the University. Birmingham is 84th in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, cementing our position in the top 100 universities globally and placing us 14th out of the 24 Russell Group universities to feature in the ranking.

Role and Profile of Key people

Rachel K. O’Reilly and Andrew Dove are both responsible for the implementation of the RISE BIODEST project at the University of Birmingham.

Ingeniería de Valorización de Residuos (Ma+D), Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

General description

Ma+D is a Spin-Off of the University of the Basque Country based on the knowledge and expertise developed by the Research Group “Biorefinery Processes” of the Polytechnic School of Donostia-San Sebastián.

Ma+D is an engineering oriented company aimed to valorize agroforestry residues through advanced chemical processes. We offer to the industry in general and in particular to forest and food sectors the possibility of converting their waste to added value products (building block, chemical, materials…).

Our team with more than ten years of experience in the characterization, treatment and recovery of different products from biomass, was successful in designing laboratory pilot plant and industrial scaling of developed processes.

Role and Profile of Key people

The role of Ma+D  in the RISE project is hosting international researchers for the preparation of blends of different polyesters supplied by the different collaborators and additives prepared by Ma+D and the study of mechanical properties of all the materials developed in the project.

Jalel Labidi is head of the RISE BIODEST Project within Ma+D.

Click here to check out the Ma+D Facebook page


Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela (USB)

General description

Simón Bolívar University (USB) is one of the top universities in Venezuela and Latin America. The Polymer Group I of Simón Bolívar University (GPUSB1) was founded by Professor Alejandro J. Müller in 1997 (he was the Head of the Group from 1997 until 2013) along with other academic staff members from the Materials Science, Mechanics and Thermodinamics Departments of USB. It is a research group with a vast experience in polymer physics, biopolymers and polymer degradation. In the last year, the GPUSB1 provided technical support to companies in different polymers applications.

Role and Profile of Key people

The role of GPUSB1, in the RISE project, includes hosting international researchers for the study of polymer degradation and mechanical properties of the samples. In addition, the members of the group will participate in the training process along with the other participating centers.

Evis Penott is leading the work for BIODEST at USB accompanied by Cristián Puig.

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

General description

The Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) is one of the pre-eminent research departments in Chemistry in South Africa, and is engaged in a wide range of research areas. The department hosts the largest research effort in Polymer Science in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also the only department at a South African university that offers a BSc degree in Polymer Science.

Within the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, under the division of Polymer Science, the Klumperman group comprises of two research associates, around 20 postgraduate students.


Role and Profile of Key people

In the BIODEST project Stellenbosch hosts international researchers for studies on the synthesis of well-defined homo and block copolymers by reversible deactivation radical polymerization. In addition Stellenbosch also seconds students and staff to other participating members to study the physical properties of the said polymer materials.  

The lead person in this project is Professor Bert Klumperman.

Bert Klumperman is a world leader in his field within polymer chemistry. He is a Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science in the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, Stellenbosch University. He has published close to 200 peer-reviewed articles and has an h index of 41 and 5000+ citations.

Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

General description

Tulane University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States.  It is one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in the region. The Department of Chemistry ​and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering where the proposed research activities will take place ​have a combined 16 research active tenure-track or tenured faculty and nearly 100 doctoral students. 

Role and Profile of Key people

The role of Tulane in the RISE project will be the hosting and mentoring of international researchers focused on the synthesis, characterization, ​and processing of linear, branched and cyclic polyesters. Prof. Scott Grayson, the Joseph H. Boyer Professor of Chemistry, and Prof. Julie Albert, Robert and Gayle Longmire Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering, are leading the BIODEST activities at Tulane University. Since starting at Tulane in 2006, Dr. Grayson has co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications, which have received over of 1700 citations.  He presently has an h index of 24 (Source: Web of Science).  His work on polymer synthesis has been highlighted as “top 20 most cited papers” in both the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Macromolecules.  He has also been invited to give over 100 seminars at conferences or universities in more than 10 countries. Dr. Julie Albert started her academic career at Tulane in 2014; she has co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications related to nanostructured block copolymers and the crystallization of biodegradable polyesters. 

Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

General description

Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS) was founded in 1956. ICCAS is one of China’s leading chemistry research institutions with high international reputation. The major research areas of ICCAS include polymer science, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry. The institute focuses on the following fields: the frontiers of molecular and nano-sciences, organic and polymeric materials, chemical biology, as well as energy and green chemistry.

Role and Profile of Key people

The head person of the group is Prof. Dujin Wang. Prof. Wang has published 280 peer reviewed papers and holds 40 invention patents. He has achieved an h-index of 31 and 3500+ citations to his publications (Source: Web of Science).

Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan

General description

The Faculty of Engineering of Yamagata University arises from the higher engineering school for fiber science established in 1910. The Department of Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE-YU) is a center department of the Faculty of Engineering, including 31 Assistant, Associate and Full Professors and around 150 graduate students.

Role and Profile of Key people

The lead researcher is Go Matsuba. He is professor at the Graduate School of Organic Materials Engineering in Yamagata University, Japan.  He is a Chemist with Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry. His group studied polymer structural formation process and detailed analysis for polymer "complicated" structure, such as hierarchic structure and so on. He has a lot of experience about polymer physics and polymer properties with synchrotron X-ray scattering, optical microscopy and spectroscopy. He has been carrying out crystallization and improvement of properties of various polymers including biobased polymers.

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