RELIANCE consortium is composed of 15 partners from 8 EU and 2 non-EU countries, to include research organizations, universities, SME and large industry partners. Together, the partners bring to the project interdisciplinary competences and expertise to ensure successful design and development of innovative antimicrobial nanocoatings, with self-disinfection smart response tailored to the specific area of application.

Tekniker is a Research and Development Centre founded in 1981 with 287 researchers and a turnover of 24 M€ in 2020, which is specialized in Advanced Manufacturing, Surface Engineering, TICs for manufacturing and Product Engineering. In RELIANCE project, Tekniker is focused on the development and characterization of antimicrobial additives, that is, smart response Cu-dopped mesoporous silica nanoparticles modified with biobased bioactive compounds. These particles adjust their antimicrobial action/dosage to the specific applications, according to performance and durability requirements. Tekniker cooperates with other partners to incorporate the particles on different surfaces through innovative nanocoatings and to optimize their operational conditions. Moreover, Tekniker participates in LCA and sustainability analysis and coordinates the project.

Centexbel (CTB) is the Belgian scientific and technical centre for the textile industry, a membership organisation with strong links to the majority of the textile companies. CTB offers a complete range of standardized testing, it is a notified body for protective clothing and can deliver CE marking and testing. CTB is also involved in standardization committees. The research group ‘Textile functionalization and surface modification’ is involved in the Reliance project. CTB’s project tasks include synthesis and formulation of bio-based polyurethane, nanostructuring of antimicrobial organic coatings, application via digital printing and recycling of coated fabrics. CTB is leading WP4 on developing and application of sustainable nanocoatings.

Founded in 1973, MAIER is European leader in the decoration of plastic parts and manufacturer of complex injection moldings for the automotive industry. The technologies Maier is working with comprise chrome plating, painting, laser etching and hot stamping.

Maier, with up to 3,000 employees in 11 countries with global sales above 385 M€, is part of the prestigious Mondragon Corporation, one of the biggest cooperative organizations worldwide.

In RELIANCE project, Maier with the collaboration of Maier Technology Centre S. Coop., will lead the WP1, setting the specifications and standards for prototypes, antimicrobial nanoparticles and coating formulations and application techniques. Maier will also participate in the development and evaluation of the nanocoating applied by Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) in WP4. Finally, in WP6 MAIER will validate the performance of the new nanocoating on the developed real geometry (automotive interior Central Console Trim), according to the automotive product specifications defined in T1.1.

The School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR) is member of the University of Applied Sciences in Western Switzerland (HESSO) and located in Fribourg, Switzerland. The school has more than 110 years of experience in Applied Research and Development. The education is focused on translating scientific knowledge into practical industry relevant applications in the field of civil engineering, chemistry, computer science, telecommunication, electrical and mechanical engineering. The school promotes mobility of students and staff personnel to stimulate international academic and industrial collaborations. It operates in a multilingual environment with tri-lingual courses (French, German, English) and research programs. Of the 10 HEIA-FR institutes 2 are engaged in the Reliance consortium: Institute of Chemical Technology (ChemTech), and Institute of Applied Plastics Research (iRAP). Each institute focuses on applying science and technology to develop industrially relevant solutions, and prototype materials and applications. The joint HEIA-FR efforts are coordinated through the Plastics Innovation Competence Center (PICC) that has the specific task of facilitating the strengthening of industrial collaborations, innovating science and technology in the field of plastics materials, and developing solutions offerings to current and future challenges of the plastics industry.

University of Rome Tor Vergata (UNITOV) is one of three public Universities in Rome, has approximately 40,000 students and 2,400 employees. UNITOV offers 114 degree courses, 144 Post Graduate and Master Courses, 41 Ph.D programs and include Policlinico Tor Vergata Hospital. UNITOV is involved in more than 100 projects co-financed by the European Commission through FP7, Horizon 2020, and Horizon Europe. The Department of Chemical Science and Technology of UNITOV, which is involved in RELIANCE was established by the Ministry for Universities and Research as among the 350 excellent Departments in all Italian Universities. The activities within RELIANCE project are related to test the antibacterial and antiviral properties in collaboration with Defence Institute for BioMedical Research (ISBD, affiliated partner of UNITOV). These activities are coordinated by Prof. Fabiana Arduini (UNITOV) and Gen. Florigio LISTA (ISBD).

Alsico High Tech is a global supplier of reusable garments for cleanrooms, clean areas, ESD environments, operating theatres and food industry. We are part of the Alsico group, specialist in workwear with more than 80 years of experience. Within the Reliance-project Alsico High Tech will define the industrial requirements for protective clothing for pharmaceutical and medical sector and will set up several tests at relevant working conditions for validation on different types of fabric.

The French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (Ineris) is the public expert on industrial and environmental risk management. The Institute’s mission is to contribute to the prevention of risks caused by economic activities to health, environment, and the safety of people and goods.

It conducts research programs with the aim of improving our understanding of the phenomena that are likely to lead to risk situations or damage to health and the environment, and of further developing its expertise in prevention. It works to expand its scientific and technical capabilities in the fields of accidental risk, chronic risk, and ground-level / subterranean risks (mining), and makes them available to public authorities, local authorities, and businesses to help them make the decisions best suited to improving environmental safety.

In the Reliance project, Ineris is in charge of evaluating the hazards of new generation antimicrobial formulations that will be developed in the project (WP7, Task 7.2). We will perform in vitro tests on the different components (safer-by-design approach) and in vivo tests on the final formulations, allowing to take into account and minimize the toxicity of these products throughout their development.

Europroject (EP) is a consulting company based in Sofia (Bulgaria), highly specialized in the management of innovative EU projects in the technological Research and Development domain. EP hаs become а recognized innovаtion support partner by providing project setting up and management support, expertise in communication, dissemination and exploitaiton, IPR, business plаnning and EU trainings, all of which are cruciаl cornerstones of cutting edge European projects.

In RELIANCE, EP is the leader of Work Package 9 “Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation”, supporting maximum project visibility, public acceptance and distribution of results once they start becoming available. In addition to establishing the project’s communication channels and tools, EP will develop the CDE Plan as well as the associated communication and dissemination campaigns and a network of relevant other projects, programs and initiatives for cross-communication and cooperation in order to enhance knowledge exchange, build on good practices and enhance the impact of project’s outcomes.

Arçelik has operations in durable consumer goods industry with production, marketing, and after-sales services around the world with over 40.000 employees, 28 production facilities in 9 countries. More than 30 years of R&D experience and operating laboratories equipped with the state-of-the-art technology at 28 R&D and Design Offices, Arçelik develops life-enhancing solutions in areas of home appliances for millions of customers across 146 countries. Arçelik participates in Reliance project to validate the performance of smart response self-disinfected biobased nano-coating for use in home appliances. The developed coating is going to be applied on stainless steel door handle and glass shelf of refrigerator to provide active protection against the spread of germs, bacteria, and virus through the surface. An expert team including chemical engineer, materials science, chemistry, molecular biology and genetics specialist conduct interdisciplinary research to achieve the required project targets.

Millidyne Oy is an innovative materials technology company providing advanced coating materials and surface treatment technologies for customers in the metal, electronics, construction, mining and process industries. We develop and manufacture specialty coating raw materials combining nanotechnology and surface engineering. Millidyne’s Avalon® non-stick, corrosion and wear resistant coatings provide advanced surface properties for almost any surface. Millidyne also develops and manufactures coating products for thermal spraying.

Millidyne’s main tasks in the project are related to up-scaling of developed particle structures and their QC measures. Millidyne also participates in coating formulation and integration of the developed additives in to the coating matrices. Millidyne’s processing and quality control equipment and know-how supports these activities. Millidyne has vast experience in coating formulation, application technologies and performance evaluation both in lab and customer applications.

Molecular Plasma Group (MPG) is a spin-off from 2 research institutes: VITO (Belgium) & LIST (Luxembourg). MPG was created in 2016 and has its HQ in Luxembourg with subsidiaries MPG in Belgium and MPG UK.

Molecular Plasma Group is selling equipment to many Industries, including but not limited to Automotive, Electronics, Defense and Medical Device industries. Our strength lies in the fact that our equipment combines coating technology and plasma chemistry.

Some of the application areas we work in are surface priming of fibers for improved adhesion to resins, surface priming for structural adhesion between difficult-to-bond parts, technical textiles, e.g. bonding of layers & surface functionalization, antiviral, antibacterial & antibiofouling coatings, encapsulation & potting, production optimization with non-stick release coatings and anti-fouling coatings and others.

MPG is involved mainly in WP4 and WP6 as their role will be to aid the plasma coating development and then be a key partner to transfer the developed solutions onto scalable production platforms.

POLYRISE is a French SME specialized in industrial sol gel coatings for optics and photonic applications. POLYRISE is expert in sol-gel coating to bring unique anti-reflective and protection characteristics to plastics or glass and to develop specific functional coatings where both light management, mechanical resistance, surface properties (hydrophobic, easy-to-clean…) and good ageing characteristics are required. In addition, POLYRISE’s team offers strong expertise and experience in coating application through high throughput process (dip coating, spray coating…) for mass markets such as automotive markets, outdoor lighting and sensors.

As a partner of RELIANCE, POLYRISE is responsible for the development and application of new innovative sol-gel coatings that will bring anti-microbial functionality to metal or plastic surfaces. Anti-microbial functionality will be based on repellency and hydrophobic design of sol-gel coatings and embedding of anti-microbial additives and nanoparticles developed by RELIANCE other partners. A strong innovation of the coatings developed by POLYRISE will be the sustainable feature of targeted coatings that will be based on non-fluorine composition.

POLYRISE will as well carry out application on samples by wet chemical techniques such as dip coating or spray coating to show industrial feasibility. Research & Innovation Team, Prototyping and Sales Team are involved in the RELIANCE project.

The University of Patras (UPAT) was founded in the city of Patras in 1964 and started to operate in the academic year of 1966-1967. The main campus is located in the periphery of Akhaia, in the suburb of Rion, covering an area of 4.5 km². The University of Patras is the third largest University in Greece in terms of students, faculty members, administrative personnel, number of departments, and degrees awarded, including 35 Departments covering a wide range of disciplines and hosting 161 laboratories and 17 fully equipped clinics. The University of Patras has acquired a reputation for producing quality and innovative research and for participating in a plethora of research projects, scientific organizations, and research groups. A number of its academic Departments, laboratories, and clinics have been recognized as centers of excellence based on international assessment.

In RELIANCE, the UPAT team will lead mainly the activities of WP5 where modelling will be used to allow a proper design of the nanocoatings by understanding the nature and degree of interactions of the actives with the surfaces and the rest of the formulation chemicals. Working at the molecular level, the team will develop computational tools to understand the mechanisms that control the antimicrobial activity of short peptidic sequences as well as to quantify the affinity of copper-doped mesoporous silica nanoparticles towards specific substrates.

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