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Smart plastic materials with intrinsic recycling properties by design (RIA) (RIA Research and Innovation action) - CE-NMBP-26-2018
Deadline: Jun 28, 2018  

 Waste Management
 Aerospace Technology
 Industrial Manufacturing

Specific Challenge:

Developing of multifunctional materials based products with smart intrinsic recycling and/or sorting abilities that harmonise with circular economy principles will create a real paradigm shift in the market and a clear benefit for society. It will also help industry to better match the EU environmental targets at the same time as improving their competitiveness.


Proposals should cover one or more of the following types of materials design:

  • Design of polymer material structures with intrinsic sorting/recycling abilities such as: Composite and reinforced composite materials, multilayers, mix of plastics, sequence controlled polymers, reinforced polymers, but also the design of polymer formulations with smart additives, which allow adequate sorting, separation and recycling;
  • Design of smart polymer materials for recycling/re-processing: The development of resins of thermoplastic nature, but also the development of new smart polymers (e.g. sequence controlled polymers, vitrimers, nano-structured block co-polymers, self-sorting polymers, click chemistry based materials) and others;
  • Further developments of separation and recycling technologies: New separation technologies like the removal of organics, contaminants, but also further developments or novel chemical recycling and/or controlled bio-degradation technologies, which are today not cost effective enough or still need to be validated.

Proposals should demonstrate the actual circular use of such materials through re-processing of recycled products and the evaluation of properties of such re-processed products in an industrial environment.

Proposals should include the full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the material production and life-cycle.

Activities should start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 5 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The development of novel plastic materials would aid in:

  • Meeting the EU's circular economy and environmental targets while demonstrating a clear benefit, i.e. more efficient or economic than the state of the art in order to enable market uptake in the short to medium term;
  • Create new technologies and business opportunities for the recycling industry across Europe, especially in the area of composites and plastics where the challenge is high;
  • Demonstrate a potential reduction in landfill waste volume by > 50%;
  • Reduction of the carbon footprint of the corresponding products by > 30% (based on a full Life Cycle Assessment).

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.

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