Partners of Greener - European Reasearch Program


University of Burgos (UBU) is the coordinator of the GREENER project. UBU will be in charge of the coordination of the whole project (WP2) as well as of ensuring the proper execution of the tasks and the achievement of the objectives. UBU has 67 research groups classified in five main research fields: Sciences, Social sciences, Engineering-Construction, Humanities and Health sciences. Under this structure, two interdisciplinary groups of the University of Burgos are joining GREENER project: the International Research Center in Critical Raw Materials for Advanced Industrial Technologies (ICCRAM) and the Composting Research Group (UBUCOMP). UBU-ICCRAM is specialised in soil analysis, including biological and molecular techniques. UBU-ICCRAM is the WP3 leader, responsible of the activities related with the study and characterization of the contaminated soils from the physical, chemical and biological point of view. UBU-ICCRAM collaborates on the optimization of the phytoremediation technology for heavy metals, as well as the development of novel technologies for metal removal and recovery of nanoparticles. In WP5 and WP6, UBU-ICCRAM works on the optimization of bio-stimulation and bioaugmentation technology, led by ACCIONA, studying and adjusting the physical and chemical factors to increase the bioremediation rate and decreasing the remediation times. Furthermore, UBU-ICCRAM is in charge of the study of soil nutrient dynamics and its effect on the microbial community, the study of different effective and environmentally-friendly treatments and the application of alternative enrichment treatments, such as organic amendments, non-toxic synthetic chelators and/or biosurfactants as efficient techniques for bioremediation and soil properties improvement. In addition, UBU-ICCRAM participates in the definition of the Key Performance Indicators for the selection of best bioremediation.

Axia Innovation is built from the synergy between four main service lines: Project Management, Innovation Management, Knowledge Transfer, and Communication & Design. Located in Germany, we pride ourselves in engineering excellence, creating business opportunities for entrepreneurs, independent enterprises and academic institutions. AXIA offers services and technology transfer targeting business development, coordination and implementation. This is achieved by offering full-service concept to develop projects and networks that build a sustainable European community. AXIA will be involved in the dissemination and communication activities under WP 8, in collaboration with WP leader (SIE). During the Dissemination & Communication they will contribute in Task 8.1 - 2 and will design, develop and update the project website. Information on the project description, publication of links to other related projects and events worldwide as well as the dissemination of the project´s results to external target groups such as professional training, webinars, presentations at conferences & fairs, organization of workshops and study tours, video news releases will be provided. Additionally, the results will be used to develop training material, assist the innovation manager with the knowledge transfer activities, and assist on organization of relevant workshops, conferences. For this purpose, a set of materials, like training manuals and guidelines will be developed.

MicroGen Biotech Ltd is an Irish biotech start-up company founded in 2012 and a spin-out of the Institute of Technology of Carlow. MicroGen Biotech utilises patented isolation and high-throughput screening methods to isolate functional, high-performance microbiomes (microbial consortia) for application in agricultural crop production and environmental remediation. MicroGen Biotech focuses on the global market in the Agri-Cleantech sector with specific target market in China where one fifth of Chinese arable land is polluted and stressed. To help address this problem MicroGen has a number of strategic partnerships with leading Chinese state-owned companies such as China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group Corporation (CECEP) and the Shengli Oilfield, which allows it to deliver its solutions in the Chinese market. MicroGen has developed and /or commercialised a number of patented site-specific microbial products and technologies that have been successfully applied in both Ireland and in China. We have a large database of microbes for degrading/immobilising a range of targeted pollutants from soil and for promoting plant growth. In particular, under the GREENER project the main tasks of Microgen will be the development of an improved Ecopiling system for the removal of TPH, PAH and heavy metals from contaminated soils and sediments from the crude oil and industrial sectors.

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS is a Spanish consultancy company that provides innovative services to a wide range of sectors throughout Europe: biobased industry, renewable energy, or advanced materials, among others. The capabilities that SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS offers are structured around three main pillars that serve as a bridge between the conception of innovative ideas and the market: Innovation management, Market Uptake, and Capacity Building. Our main asset is the highly qualified team of engineers, environmentalists, communication experts, and business strategists who work with us.

Tauw GmbH is an independent German environmental consulting and engineering firm specialized in the design, improvement and management of the natural and built-up environment with approx. 100 employees. Tauw GmbH provides services within the following areas: soil and groundwater, water and sediment management, building contaminants, environmental health and safety, engineering and infrastructure, environmental monitoring. Tauw will be responsibe for tasks 3.7 and 6.4 and will also provide assistance within task 7.5. Under Task 3.7 Definition of treatments Tauw will define the different types of novel individual biotreatments and combined treatments (including at least two different biotechnologies) proposed by the consortium including the type of media (soil, sediment, water, etc.) and contaminants that are amenable to remediation. For Task 6.4 Field testing of water treatmen Tauw will evaluate the suitability of sites where the technologies developed by the consortium may be tested in a pilot-study. In this regard, Tauw will present the developed technology to site owners and the local authorities and discuss with them the potential for realization of a pilot-test. Finally, within Task 7.5 Risk assessment of WP7 Assessment”. Tauw will assist Vertech (task Leader) in the elaboration of the general (EU level) and specific (EU member state) “risk assessment”aspects that need to be considered for successful implementation of the developed technology such as post-treatment final contaminant concentrations for soil, groundwater, wastewater, etc.

Vertech-Group (VTG) is a French research-intensive SME that focuses its business on providing advanced environmental and sustainable solutions for different sectors such as new materials, ICT platforms, waste management, industry and biotechnology. Vertech Group is specialized in sustainability assessments of novel technologies and innovative materials considering the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic and social aspects). Vertech has vast experience in several sectors such as advanced materials and high-performance, green components, waste management, green manufacturing, secondary raw materials recovery & recycling, energy efficiency at industrial level, etc. During the project Vertech will lead WP7, being in charge of the following tasks: 1) Life cycle assessments (LCA), 2) Life cycle costing (LCC), 3) Social LCA, 4) Risk assessment and 5) Regulatory and legal assessments.

The Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) is the largest research organisation in Slovenia for basic and applied research in the natural sciences and technology consisting of several departments and centres. The department research activities comprises: Analysis of trace-level persistent and new emerging contaminants in environmental samples (sediment, air, water, biological tissues); fate and cycling of organic contaminants in the environment (bioaccumulation, transformation, biodegradation, photodegradation, etc.) and simulating these processes in the laboratory; determination of transformation products formed during water treatment and environmental breakdown processes; biomonitoring; analysis of specific biomarkers and determination of their source in the environment by using stable isotopes. During GREENER the main tasks conducted within the bioanalytics laboratory will be (i) the analysis of microbial communities using metagenomic approach, (ii) metagnonically directed isolation of pollutant degraders, (iii) development of molecular tools for monitoring of microbial community compositions in the remediation procedures, (iv) development of methods for control of pathogenic organisms in the remediation process and (v) development of the carriers and aggregates of bacterial consortia using colloid biology approaches. This research and engineering work will be supported by the team of the analitical chemist from the other research laboratories within the Department of Environmental sciences.

The Institute of Technology Carlow is a values-led public funded Higher Education organisation that puts the quality of the learner experience centre-stage, supported by our commitment to knowledge development and the achievement of excellence, to creativity and innovation, to connectivity with our regions and the world. IT Carlow has considerable experience in plant microbe interactions and their application to bioremediation and phytoremediation. Under GREENER they will be involved in the Evaluation of optimum plant microbe combinations to promote plant growth (and bioremediation) on contaminated soils, as well as the Ecopile technologies development. Ecopiling is a low cost, low energy form of biopiling, where soil conditions are amended so as to stimulate maximum microbial degradation of the pollutant, and then used to create static piles.

Materia Nova - Material R&D Centre plays the bridging role between fundamental research and industrial development. In addition to performing confidential R&D contractual projects, Materia Nova uses its skills to collaborate with universities and EU public organizations, fulfilling their mission by accelerating the emergence of advanced technology while targeting industrial applications. MATERIA NOVA is organized in 6 main departments active in material science, among which the biotechnology department (BIOTECH) and the YLCA team. In this project, Materia Nova will be mainly involved in the bacterial production of nanoparticles, in the bioremediation processes mediated by bacteria on contaminated waters from the microbial isolation and characterization to the lab and upscaling. Materia Nova will also be involved in life cycle analysis. In particular they will be involved in: Study and isolation of environmental bacteria (WP3); Characterization of contaminated waters (WP3); Development of bacterial processes to recover nanoparticles and implementation with real wastes, test of the recovery of other by-product metals (WP4); and lab scale-up of bacterial culture to 2L reactor (WP6) to allow up-scaling of the process to industrial pilot at a later stage.

Research at Mendel University in Brno includes the areas of agricultural, forestry, biological, economic, technical and pedagogical sciences. Great attention is given to developing, testing and utilizing advanced materials and technologies in the agricultural sector by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry involved in this project proposal. Such activities are being important for all fields from the cultivation and/or breeding through protection against pests and diseases to food production. Therefore, MEN has experience in the plant cell and whole plant cultivation as well as integrated pest management. MEN is involved in Enhancement of dyes removal by means of novel approaches in phycoremediation and Definition of operation conditions for the scale-up for water remediation technologies. Primarily, MEN will focus on bioremediation of water by microalgae selected and designed on their capabilities for sorption biotransformation of azo dyes and heavy metals.

LEITAT is a non-profit organization, specialized in production technologies. The Environmental & Bio Technologies and Devices, Design & Engineering divisions in LEITAT have wide experience in the research and development of projects aiming to the development and improvement of industrial productive processes based on biotechnology with research activities such as biotechnological design and application of industrial processes. The Human and Environmental Health & Safety (HEHS) division provides scientific and technological support to different industrial sectors, with the aim to ensure that their technologies and products are safe for human health and for the environment. Leitat will participate in tasks related to site characterisation and KPIs definition within WP3. Leitat is in charge of the leadership of WP4. Specifically, Leitat will lead the development of BES for groundwater relediation based on expertise acquired in previous projects. LEITAT will participate in WP6 by performing a (eco)toxicological evaluation of water and soils before and after the different remediation technologies applied following in vitro and in vivo ecotoxicity bioassays in aquatic and soil organisms bioassays.

UAM is one of the leading Public Universities in Spain. The Department of Biology is part of the Science School and has a strong research record in Biology and Environmental Sciences. UAM main tasks will be within WP3 and WP5. Tasks include Biological characterization of contaminated soil and water using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis (T3.3), Microbial studies and isolation (T3.4), Analysis of microbial communities for optimal dgradation of selected contaminants (T3.5), Optimisation of biostimulation/bioaugmentation technologies for soil remediation (T5.1), Development and optimisation of a hybrid technology for soil bioremediation: combination of phytoremediation with biostimulation/bioaugmentation technology (Ecopile) (T5.3) and Development of hybrid technologies for soil remediation: combination of bioremediation with bio-electrochemically mediated bioremediation systems (BES)(T5.4).

The University of Bath is one of the leading research intensive universities in the United Kingdom. The University has extensive experience in managing European projects, both as partner and coordinator. Current projects for which Bath is Coordinator include Cooperation projects in Transport, Space, Environment, Energy Efficient Buildings, three Marie Curie Initial Training Networks, and most recently Horizon 2020 projects in Climate Action, Transport and NMP. BATH will lead WP5, which is focused on the design and development of an integrated bioremediation system for the removal of pollutants in soil by combining conventional technologies, such as phytoremediation, with bioelectrochemical systems. The BATH team provides multidisciplinary expertise that effectively integrates engineering with science, with expertise spanning fuel cell engineering through material science to advanced analytical chemistry. The team will develop an innovative plant microbial fuel cell, made of renewable, low cost and compostable materials and assess the ability of the system to remove pollutants of interest, including hydrocarbons, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals. The bioremediation effectiveness will be validated by advanced mass spectroscopy techniques, which, through a study on the metabolites produced, will also provide a fundamental understanding on the degradation mechanisms. Innovative cellulose-derived porous electrode materials will be developed to guarantee the sustainability of the technology.

The University of Cagliari, founded in 1606, is a public University, at present one of the largest enterprises in Sardinia. Important, internationally acclaimed results were obtained in the 19th and 20th centuries in the fields of Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Archaeology. The scientific profile of UNICA and its focus on key engineering aspects of electrochemical systems and related technologies, make the unit suited to take on the challenge of quantitatively interpret the bioelectrochemical processes for water and soil remediation. To this aim, the UNICA unit includes specific expertise in the development of mathematical models of different electrochemical and bio-electrochemical processes, such as removal of toxic organic compounds, heavy metal and microorganisms from water and of organics and heavy metals from soils. In particular, under WP 4 UNICA unit will be committed to mathematical modelling of bioelectrochemical systems applied to water pollution (TPHs, pesticides and PAHs) abatemen , as well as of integrated systems (bioelectrochemistry and other technologies) for groundwater treatment. Moreover, in WP 5 UNICA unit will be committed to the experimental assesment of transport of contaminants under electric field during the bioremediation experiments, and to mathematical modelling of bio-electrochemically mediated systems for remediation of soils.

The University of Surrey has excellent academics whose mission is to lead pioneering research and innovation to create new thinking around, and to provide practical solutions for, some of the world’s main technological and societal challenges. It works in partnership with national and international academia, policy makers, healthcare providers and commercial and industrial organisations. Over the last 15 years, the Systems Microbiology group at the Department of Microbial Sciences has been involved in major research programmes using Systems Biology approaches to understand the metabolic capabilities of single- and multi-species microbial systems of industrial and clinical interest, addressing both basic and applied questions. Those studies have focused on bioproduct formation (antibiotics, recombinant proteins and other molecules of biological interest) and bioenergy production (biosolvents, biofuels and bioelectricity), while basic studies have been directed to the elucidation of the metabolism and physiology of both single microbial species and microbial consortia. During the implementation of GREENER project, by applying quantitative physiological approaches to the study of microbial systems, and metagenomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics, USUR will be able to understand the mechanisms involved in the optimization of the microbial platforms.

Acciona Construcción is a leading European construction company designing, constructing and managing buildings and civil infrastructures under sustainability principles. It has an international presence in more than 30 countries and its total turnover in 2015 was about 2.170 million €, employing 9.412 people. Main research areas are: Materials (Cement & Concrete; Nanotechnology & Advance materials; Roads; Environmental Technologies), Infrastructures (Design; Processes; Composite structures; Underground construction; Maritime Works), Ecoefficiency (Passive architecture; Installations) and ICT (ICT technologies; Automation; Building Information Modelling and Virtual Reality). Within GREENER, ACC will be undertaking the following roles: 1. Responsible for the coordination of the demo activities (at WP6), 2. Participating in the development of an improved biopile for the treatment of polluted soils with TPH, PAH and heavy metals in construction sector, 3. Exploitation activities related to the development of bioremediation techniques applied in construction sector. The main tasks will be the development of an improved biopile for the depollution of contaminated soils with TPH, PAH and heavy metals in construction sector, and a real scale application of the different technologies focused on soil remediation in a real environment.

Ecology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences (EI, SDAS) is a comprehensive research institution that performs a wide spectrum of basic and applied research on ecological environment, which was founded in March 2015 and personnel came from the Institute of Biology, the Institute of Energy and Biotechnology Center. The main research fields include studies on resources and environment problems, carbon market construction, strategy research on ecology and low-carbon development, soil pollution remediation, prevention and treatment of agricultural non-point source contamination, and ecological restorations of fragile ecosystem. SDAS is in charge of the leadership of industrial solid waste treatment and soil pollution remediation technology. For years, SDAS have done great work in developing waste utilization technology such as oil sludge and petroleum sand. Besides, research and application of biodegradation and remediation technology of oil sludge, oil sand and other pollutants were also developed and promoted in large area in China. SDAS is now developing new soil remediation techniques including combined remediation of plants and microbe on crude oil-contaminated saline soil and electro-kinetic remediation on the PAHs in the saline soil.

Jiangsu University (JSU) was founded in 1902 as a part of Sanjiang Normal University. JSU has been promoting high-level research ever since. Five disciplines have been ranked as top 1% in ESI, such as Engineering, Clinical Medicine, Materials Science, Chemistry and Agricultural Science. Drawing on the big varieties of programs and multi-disciplinary strengths, we operate an array of research institutes and centers serving as both the academic think tanks and technological innovation source at the national and regional levels. Within GREENER KSU will be: Participating in the Task 4.3 to develop the bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for water pollution (PAHs and antibiotics) treatment; and Participating in the Task 4.4 to develop BES technologies for heavy metals recovery. The main tasks will improve the BES performance for PAHs and antibiotics removal in water; and the new BES systems for heavy metals recovery from complicated wastewater will also be developed.

Nanjing Tech University, is a comprehensive university with engineering as its focus, which has a history of more than one hundred years as a cradle of education. It is a key institution of higher learning to be constructed in Jiangsu Province, and one of the first group of institutions of higher learning approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education for the training of "Excellent Engineers". Under GRENER NTU will be: Participating in the Task 4.3 to develop the bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for water pollution (heavy metals and antibiotics) abatement; and Participating in the Task 4.5 to develop the hybrid BES technologies for water remediation. The main tasks will improve the BES performance for heavy metals (such as Cr(VI), Cu(II), Fe(III), Au(III), etc.) and antibiotics (such as chloramphenicol, chlortetracycline, etc.) removal in water; and the BES hybridized conventional technologies will be applied to remove heavy metals and antibiotics in water simultaneously.

Qingdao University of Science and Technology (QUST) is a key university directly affiliated to Shandong Province and a preeminent featured university for the cultivation of fundamental and professional talents approved by Shandong provincial government. Furthermore, it is evaluated as an “outstanding university for its undergraduate education” and a “national top university in its practice of the employment of graduates” by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Its three disciplines, Chemical Engineering and Technology, Polymer Materials and Engineering, and Environmental Engineering, have passed the Engineering Education Accreditation in 2016. During the project they will be involved in the selection and assessment of contaminated soils, the formation of a database of contaminated soils in the EU and China and the targeted bioremediation solution that will be proposed. The microbial species and microbial aggregates used in bioremediation will be studied and evaluated, and the best performing species will be isolated. The comprehensive technology of bioremediation will be tested on a pilot scale in the actual environment to monitor and verify its performance. The security, regulatory compliance, environmental and economic sustainability of developed technologies are cross-sectorially assessed.