BIOGEARS Partner Profile: GAIKER

Published 12/01/2023

For each issue of the e-newsletter we chat with one of our partner to highlight their company, their role in BIOGEARS and what they view as the key impacts of the project. For this issue, we chatted with Mari José Suárez and Ainara Pocheville from GAIKER.

Tell us about GAIKER?

GAIKER, member of Basque Research and Technology Alliance(BRTA), is a Technology Centre located in the Technological Park of Bizkaia, Basque Country and is devoted to the up-take of own knowledge and to the development of new technologies that are later transferred to customers coming from different sectors such as the Pharmaceutical Industry, Chemical Industry, Human and Animal Health, Engineering and Consultancy Firms, Public Administrations, Automotive Industries, Construction or Packaging.

From 1985, the Centre has carried close to 2,200 R&D projects related to its Knowledge Areas: Biotechnology, Sustainable Composites and Functional Polymers and Recycling and Circular Economy. Besides its activity in R&D, GAIKER offers to its customers Advanced Technological Services, Analysis and Tests and Technological Dissemination Services.

What is GAIKER’s role in the BIOGEARS project?

Gaiker is leading WP3, focused on the design and development of the biobased ropes prototypes and WP5 dealing with the sustainability assessment of the BIOGEARS protypes.

Within WP3, GAIKER is responsible for developing and selecting the biopolymer-based compounds used in the production of intermediate textiles and later used in the industrial manufacturing of the biobased rope prototypes. The close collaboration with the rest of partners has been the key to optimise the material composition and processing methods to reach manufacturing of prototypes at pilot scale.

In WP5, GAIKER is directly responsible for the evaluation of the biobased ropes compostability according to relevant standards and for the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). In addition, there is a close collaboration between GAIKER and the rest of partners to deal with other aspects of ropes sustainability: monitoring of durability and functionality of ropes during use, the economic assessment, and the evaluation of biodegradation in marine environment.

Why did GAIKER get involved in the project?

GAIKER looks to participate in any research initiative related to increase the use of more sustainable materials and solutions that contribute to minimise waste, reduce environmental impacts and validate secondary materials.

Biobased and recycled material are becoming more and more relevant within GAIKER´s technologies, especially for the development of new sustainable products. To achieve these targets, ecodesign and material upgrading is essential needed to adapt materials for further processing and to meet functionality and end of life requirements.

The BIOGEARS project was considered from the beginning a promising initiative to provide a more circular and sustainable solution for the aquaculture sector. In this sense, BIOGEARS results are complementary with those resulted from previous initiatives, such as the BLUENET project, also led by AZTI and where GAIKER was also involved.

Can you describe some of the key impacts that you think will result from activities within the project?

BIOGEARS will provide interesting data of the functionality of alternative solutions for aquaculture sector based on biobased materials. In addition, the project also provides relevant information about the impact of this type of biomaterials on marine ecosystems (microplastics generation and biodegradation).

The study of environmental and economic impact is also critical to boost the short-term implementation of new policies and to increase the market uptake of biobased products.

BIOGEARS project´s results will increase GAIKER´s knowledge about biobased sustainable materials for marine applications, broadening our transfer offer to industrial sectors.

Last edited 27/04/2023

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