INESCOP wins the “Best National Innovation in Biotechnology 2019” award for its materials biodegradation team

INESCOP came off with the “Best National Innovation in Biotechnology 2019” award for its biodegradation team. This award is an initiative promoted by the Spanish Inventors Club Association, which has been giving prizes to the best innovations in Spain for over 40 years.

The winning entry was the result of close teamwork between INESCOP’s Biotechnology and Microelectronics departments. At the awards ceremony, department managers Dr Marcelo Bertazzo and Damián Poveda accepted the award on behalf of the entire team.

Entries for the award passed through a variety of phases, with over 100 inventions participating, until the 20 finalists were chosen. The aim of this award is to encourage and reward the development of patents and inventions in Spain in view of a dearth of resources in this sector. With 2019 data still incomplete, and despite growth over the previous year, Spain registered only 1,578 new patents in 2018 – far from the 3,133 registered in 2013.

Biodegradability Test

INESCOP’s biodegradability team, combining human resources from its Biotechnology and Microelectronics departments, came up with a quick and efficient way to quantify the biodegradability of leather, plastics and textiles.

For sure, one of the team’s big successes was the rapid response time achieved, as companies in these trades cannot wait for long periods of time to measure degradation in natural environments in order to assess whether a given material is biodegradable or not, i.e., that they decompose appropriately without leaving pollutants behind.

Thanks to this newly developed method, companies can assess the degradation percentage of their leather, plastic or textile materials in a downtime of only 30 days, and discover their ultimate environmental impact, therefore being able to apply a “sustainable product” label or not.

The testing process is based on methods inspired by the ISO 20136: 2017 standard, which allows for an evaluation of biodegradation of materials in just a few weeks, and now ranks as the first specific international standard for the evaluation of degradation for leather goods.

BIOdegradability Seal

In view of the popularity of sustainability on the global level, with both consumers and producers increasingly concerned to advance on this front, INESCOP has now launched its own “BIOdegradability Certification” so that manufacturers can use their seal to identify the level of environmental degradation a specific material offers.

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