Innovative collaboration for microplastics research
Quadpack Foundation partners with academia to support the development of solutions for plastic contamination
Microplastics, fragments smaller than 5mm, can come from the breaking of larger pieces of plastics or are manufactured as such with microspheres in hygiene and cleaning products. Plastic’s numerous industry applications, combined with poor disposal management, has made microplastics pollution grow exponentially. It is now considered a major environmental problem, affecting ocean life, terrestrial fauna and human health.
Quadpack Foundation has partnered with UAB Research Park to support scientific research on microplastics and their effects on people and the environment. The foundation sponsored the 12th edition of Generació d’Idees (Ideas Generation), an initiative that aims to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation culture among researchers and doctoral students, connecting them with the current challenges of industries.
From September to December 2021, multidisciplinary research groups participated in co-creation sessions and received entrepreneurship training, mentoring and prototyping support. Finally, the programme held a competition where participants presented their projects to a jury of academics, industry experts and the general public.
The prize for Best Innovative Idea went to MP Food Watching, a solution that uses hyperspectral imaging technology to detect and better visualise microplastics presence in food. Presented as a cost-effective and fast solution for the food chain, the project was awarded €1,000 to start a crowdfunding campaign, mentoring, social media dissemination support and six months of incubation at the UAB Open Labs, the university’s open innovation network.
Qu4tre, a group of researchers that had Quadpack engineers Roger Oller and Mariola Rodríguez amongst its members, won the Public Choice award with the project Omnibox, a reusable container for municipal markets, complete with a logistics plan for its distribution, recovery and cleaning, as part of a zero-waste solution. The group was awarded six months of incubation and social media dissemination support.
“As an industry, we are conscious of our responsibility and we want to be part of the solution. By being connected to researchers and sharing the challenges we face, we can advance together towards a healthier world and have a positive impact on the next generations,” says Marta Gil, Quadpack Foundation Manager.
Click here to read more about the program Generació d’Idees, an initiative sponsored by Quadpack Foundation, Agbar and Sant Cugat Council.
Click here to read more about UAB Research Park.