The global market is in great need of innovative eco-friendly materials not only in the field of packaging but also in the field of construction- furnishing-architecture and interior design. Therefore, the creation of such materials is of immense importance. The ever-increasing contamination of the environment leads inevitably to irreversible environmental degradation and adumbrates a bleak future for the upcoming generations. In addition, the presence of a great number of untapped raw materials, which are considered to be refuse (or waste), can actually be exploited and recycled. Consequently, this potential has led contemporary research into the development of innovative materials. The idea of an eco-friendly product stems from the urgent need of green materials. This is how the panels (flat or three-dimensional) are constructed. The purpose of this proposal is basically the development of the inherent abilities as well as the potential of this innovative, green panel based on olive leaves (ground up, integral, tender, dried) and the various adhesives. This goal will be attained by startup Liofyllo as detailed below.
1) The construction of a bench scale hands-on lab is a top priority so that the products of the new material can actually rise to the occasion.
2) The development of know-how through interaction and exchange of good practices with other companies of this field both on national and global scale.
3) The materialization of certain prerequisites such as equipment, social contacts and reduction of production cost in relation to competition with the aim of commercializing the pioneer invention.
4) The implementation of methodology during the production line in order to reduce energy sources.
Alexandra Makrygeorgou is the co-inventor of the novel material and the chairwoman of the startup & social enterprise Liofyllo whose leadership team consists of 5 women. The innovation lies on the appropriate management of untapped raw material (olive leaves) which is refused during olive oil collection and other oil goods. The former and the latter alongside biodegradable adhesives can actually create an innovative, eco-friendly material through a patented policy. The desirable result is basically the development of MVP so that it can have practical application to various fields by replacing other pollutants since it has been observed that the new material is easily scalable. In particular, it boasts a great variety of goods with multiple assets such as mechanical endurance, resilience and insulating abilities. Not to mention the fact that it can be introduced and applied to be developed as well as burgeoning industrial sectors, services and commerce. Another appealing feature is the fact that the novel material does not introduce solid, fluid or gas contaminants into the natural environment during the production procedure and its application. It is worth mentioning that the novel material is in perfect harmony with the norms of circular economy as it can be recycled (damaged or worn out panels) and processed accordingly in order to produce other goods (e.g art design pieces). Apart from the refuse management, the techniques-methods that are used with the intention of producing the new material are energy-efficient in contrast to the production of respective polluting materials (plastic, mdf, osb, synthetic). The participation in this program will undoubtedly give a boost in the innovative material as well as in the social enterprise Liofyllo in order to deploy the financial sources. In this way:
1) A great number of consecutive trials will be implemented (based on a wide range of biodegradable adhesives).
2) The finalisation of certain features, regarding the eco-friendly panel, will be in hand (e.g. interior-exterior design- high UV resistance).
3) The assessment of certain prerequisites such as equipment and line production will be viable. Another valid point is the fact that the novel material will be able to be commercialized with the intention of massive production and the reduction of cost. By extension, new vacancies will be available and certain applications will be more feasible.
4) The development of good practices and, generally, the interaction with mature firms of equivalent sectors will be incorporated and blended in smoothly with the philosophy of know-how in our own case.
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