The researchers wish to develop a sunscreen based on environmentally friendly lignin particles or a lipid coating for drugs that can swallow, instead of injecting, in the setting of the initiative "Spin-off Fellowships". With this program, "the spirit of enterprise" should be strengthened, said Minister of Education Iris Rauskala, during the presentation in Vienna.
A fourth round of calls for "swarming scholarships" is being planned
Compared with countries that are generally at the top of the innovation rankings, such as the Scandinavian countries or the Netherlands, Austria still lags far behind in the transfer of information from the fundamental research, said the minister. The program, which is led by the Research Promotion Agency (FFG), aims to bridge the gap in applied research.
Nine funded projects
The nine projects funded under the third round of applications were selected by an international jury of 26 candidates. Five of them will be held in Vienna, two in Tyrol and Styria. In total, 3.4 million euros will flow, which will allow teams to focus directly on product development. For a year and a half, they have each received financial support of up to 500,000 euros, according to the presentation of two projects located at the Technical University of Vienna.
One of them bears the title "NANOLIGNIN" and is based on an already patented process of producing lignin particles in the range of micro and nanometers. It was developed by Angela and Martin Miltner, who, in cooperation with Anton Friedl, the TU's process engineer, are now targeting two applications: a new type of sunscreen paint and water-based paint. In either case, lignin particles could replace environmentally harmful ingredients such as those currently used in UV blockers. A "contribution to the protection of the environment", which should also lead to the creation of a company, as Angela and Martin Miltner have pointed out.
Stable lipid production
A relief for Nadelphobiker promises the project also pursued by David Wurm, Julian Quehenberger and Oliver Spadiut at the Vienna University of Technology. Under the project title "NovoSome", scientists want to promote their approach to stable lipid production. As drug hulls, they can pass through the stomach without being destroyed. This packaging could replace about 20% of syringes with tablets. This prevents many people from getting anxious visits to the doctor and giving the drug resistance to heat, which makes it easier to use and store, said Quehenberger. Under the funding mechanism, the challenge now is to further develop patent-pending technology and start a business.
As Rauskala pointed out, a fourth round of applications for "scholarships" is in preparation. The need was there, in any case, said the director general of FFG, Henrietta Egerth. It can be seen that the number and quality of projects submitted have "increased steadily". "It is understood that basic research can generate a necessary and effective product," Egerth said.
Service: The online funding program: https://www.ffg.at/spin-off-fellowships
(APA / red, photo: APA / APA (Hochmuth))