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SFI-Sentre for forskn.drevet innov

Dsolve - Biodegradable plastics in marine applications

Alternative title: Dsolve - Bionedbrytbar plast til marine applikasjoner

Awarded: NOK 96.0 mill.

Dsolve - Centre for the development of biodegradable plastic for marine applications - innovate fisheries and aquaculture. The vision of the centre is to reduce plastic litter and the associated problems (macro-/microplastics and ghost fishing) caused by the fishery and aquaculture industries. Our ambition is to place Norway at the forefront of research, development, and use of smart biodegradable materials to reduce the global problem of marine litter from fisheries and aquaculture. The goal of our centre for research-based innovations is to develop technologies and new products, improve the governance framework, and foster innovations that enable the plastic value chains to become more circular and resource efficient. This will reduce the carbon and greenhouse gas footprints to be more in line with the UN climate, energy, and sustainable development goals. The centre is designed to address the challenges described above. Dsolve was officially opened April 28 2021. Several planned activities, especially within work packages one (polymer developments), two (biodegradation) and three (fishing gear trials), have been delayed because of the pandemic situation. It has also affected area four (incentives for implementation), five (circularity) and six (communication and outreach) of the centre. Three PhD candidates have been hired on four years contracts at UiT. Additionally, students at BSc and MSc levels have been progressing with reports and thesis with focus on challenges identified by Dsolve. Basic research in laboratories by our partners to identify properties of existing materials and new resins for the use in fishing gears, is also in progress. During 2021 we have performed fishing trials with biodegradable gillnets in Norway and Denmark. Tests with known and new biodegradbale components (i.e. natural fibres) have been performed in demersal seining in Norway. By the end of 2021 we will have results from trials with longlines and bottom trawls. We are on a continuous search for new biodegradable products and possible new industry partners. We regularly arrange meetings and workshops between work packages one, two and three. From January 2022 we will include all work pages and partners in monthly workshops (?living labs?) with invited guest speakers. Published results are consecutively uploaded on the Dsolve webpage and communicated through accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The SFI DSolve addresses the problems associated with marine plastic litter (macro/microplastics and ghost fishing) caused by the fishery and aquaculture sectors . The negative environmental- and socio-economic impacts can be significantly reduced if traditional plastics in these sectors are replaced with new biodegradable materials. The goal of this SFI is to develop technologies and new products, improve the governance framework, and foster innovations that enable the plastic value chains to become more circular and resource-efficient in order to reduce their carbon and greenhouse gas footprints so that they are in line with climate, energy, and sustainable development goals (UN SDG 9, 12, 14). A highly qualified interdisciplinary consortium has been assembled to meet the SFI objectives. The consortium represents different disciplines and consists of a leading Norwegian university, research institutions, fishing and aquaculture companies, gear suppliers, industrial organizations, public management authorities, and NGOs. The SFI will be supported by key R&D institutions from the EU and a leading global polymer producer from South Korea (Part 3, Section 8). This international support will help maximize dissemination and exploitation of the project results and expand the market potential for new innovations. Results of this SFI will directly strengthen scientific knowledge, build up research capacity, and secure good management processes and sustainable value creation based on marine resources through innovation projects for the industrial sector.

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SFI-Sentre for forskn.drevet innov