I+D+i (News)

BIOSEA, tecnología innovadora y económi


The core goal of the BIOSEA project is to develop and optimise sustainable, cost-effective methods for the industrial-scale cultivation of 4 selected species of high added-value macro and microalgae for use in the cosmetics, food and animal feed industries.

Europe needs new sustainable, biologically-based raw materials to meet the growing needs of the population and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In terms of potential market requirements in the EU, the demand for food and fuel is mainly met by imports, supplying 68% of the total protein supply. Aquatic resources and raw materials may represent a solution to these needs. However, the European market for algae is still limited by under-developed production technologies coupled with bio refineries which are not specifically prepared to handle the aquatic biomass.

BIOSEA will contribute to the reduction of European dependence on the importation of raw materials, at the same time as reducing pressure on land resources while opening up new markets and business niches.

The objective of the project is to cultivate on an industrial scale 4 selected species of macro and microalgae for the production and extraction of a minimum of 6 active components (proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, carotenoids, lipids and phycobiliproteins) which, due to the origin of the raw material, the methods of extraction, function of the final products and low cost of the materials will result in high added-value cultivated products.

The project will study all the stages involved in obtaining the target active compounds and the validation of their bioactive properties. The processes of separation, extraction and purification of the compounds of interest will be studied to maximise the yield per unit of mass and optimise costs (obtaining a reduction of the production costs up to 55%) with particular attention being paid to achieving a cost-effective scaling up of the process. The role of AITEX within the framework of the BIOSEA project is to perfect the encapsulation the resulting compounds for use in the cosmetics sector.
The duration of the project is 36 months, starting in June 2017 and ending in May 2020.

During the first 9 months of the project, the activities focused on optimising the cultivation of the micro and macroalgae selected. In addition, the cultivated algae were characterised.

The first preservation trials of the algae biomass have been completed, from which important results have been obtained for the development of the project in terms of the transportation and conservation of the raw material necessary for the subsequent stages of the project.

The project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union under contract No. 745622. The project is led by AITEX and has an interdisciplinary consortium composed of 13 research entities and companies from the private sector, from diverse activities such as aquaculture, agriculture, human and animal food, textiles, cosmetics, chemical technology, and macro and microalgae production.

Among the partners in Spain are the National Centre for Food Technology and Safety (CNTA), the Andalusian Aquaculture Technology Centre (CTAQUA), Biopolis SL, Compound Feed Supplements, Dibaq and Soria Natural, who are joined by the participation of VITO and At ~ Sea Technologies-subcontracted companies (Belgium), Tabu (Turkey), IGV and Henkel (Germany) and Van Loon Chemical Innovations and Feyecon (Netherlands).


The information and opinions represented on this website only reflect the opinions of the authors and not the views of the JU. No person acting on their behalf can be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

26 March, 2018 0 comment
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The SMARTCOMP project has as its main objective the development of intelligent textile structures for use in the manufacture of composites with a heat stable matrix: an application of great interest to the decoration, interior design, habitat and other creative industries.

SMARTCOMP focuses on the development of smart textile structures equipped with textronic components for use in the development of multifunctional, heat stable composites.

R+D work in the textile industry has in recent years been looking closely at the applications for composites and the fabrication of high-performance, low-cost textile structures. Smart textiles offer the textile industry numerous possibilities for innovation in terms of new multifunctional properties in the field of composite materials.

The challenge facing the R & D project is in obtaining smart textiles capable of being integrated into the multilayer structure of a composite material that is then formed in the vacuum-assisted resin infusion process. The structures must be made from textiles with an average thermal resistance and which are also compatible with the heat-cured resins conventionally used in this field.

The project has the support of the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE, and is co-financed by the ERDF funds of the EU, within the ERDF Operational Program of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014 -2020. FILE: IMDEEA / 2018/116

IVACE GV 2018-FEDER-CS-color
21 March, 2018 0 comment
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In response to the digital revolution taking place in today’s industry, the e-MANIQUÍ project is focusing on the incorporation of more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective processes in the garment-making sector of the Valencian Autonomous Community, via the integration of 3D technology. 

Industrial activity in all sectors is undergoing a digital revolution and the textile and garment-making industries are no exception. All manufacturers, from large multi-nationals to micro companies are having to adapt to this digital transformation which is affecting how we design, manufacture and even purchase fashion wear.

There is a great range of digital tools available which offer manufacturers huge advantages in terms of contributing to reductions in costs and lead times. However, integrating these tools into a manufacturing process is something which many companies have yet to undertake. More conventional manufacturing systems are still the preferred method for many SMEs and the need for research into how to efficiently integrate digital tools is slowing down the rate at which they are being taken up.

The broad aim of e-maniquí is to facilitate the incorporation of more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective systems in the garment-making industry of the Valencian Autonomous Community. This will in turn contribute to the evolution of advanced garment-making and fashion 4.0 production techniques.

In this respect, 3D technology used to create virtual prototypes offers huge advantages to manufacturers by improving production processes, the use of resources, inter-departmental communication and how the manufacturer reacts to market realities.

During the development of the project, research has been carried out into how to adapt a range of variables which influence the creation of a virtual simulation to the real needs of the manufacturer depending on designs, fabrics and the demands of their customers. In addition, approaches will be developed to enable companies to adapt these variables as and when the market and fashion evolve. This is a vital facet if fully-viable virtual prototypes are to be achieved and the only way of ensuring that all of the myriad advantages of using 3D simulation are exploited to the full.

The project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE, and is co-funded with the EU’s ERDF within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020. FILE: IMDEEA/2017/16

14 February, 2018 0 comment
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Colour variations during fibre processing is a worrying problem. AITEX’s DTYarns project is researching ways of optimising the processing conditions which will in turn lead to better management of the resources used.  

By developing the project the aim is to undertake a comparative study between the two most commonly-used procedures for yarn texturising: false-twist texturising and TASLAN air texturising. A parallel study will also be performed of “Bulked Continuous Filament” or BCF, using the same methodology.

This will take the form of an in-depth study of the internal structure of the polymer before and after texturising to determine the degree of crystallinity it possesses, and how colour variation is influenced by post processing with the aim of minimising the effect. Seven specific objectives have been identified to ensure the successful outcome of the project:

1. Research into the internal behaviour of the polymer in relation to the processing parameters
2. Optimise the false-twist texturising parameters
3. Optimise the TASLAN texturisation parameters
4. Compare the false-twist and TASLAN texturising processes
5. Eliminate water consumption from the dyeing process. Optimise the bulk-dyeing process
6. Reduce energy consumption
7. Optimise the BCF (Bulked Continuous Filament) processing parameters

The project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE, and is co-funded with the EU’s ERDF within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020. FILE: IMDEEA/2017/67

13 February, 2018 0 comment
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  • IBV and AITEX have been involved in a joint research project for the last two years called INSTINTO, financed by IVACE and FEDER

  • The prototype developed by the two centres was trialled during 2017.

  • Innovative solutions to overcoming the problem of falls and how they impact on

The Institute of Biomechanics (IBV) and the Textile Technology Institute (AITEX) have collaborated for the last two years on the INSTINTO research project to develop a system using wearable sensors in clothing, linked to an ICT platform to monitor the elderly wearer and prevent falls from occurring or protect the wearer in the case of a fall.

Integrating wearable sensors into clothing allows the wearer to be monitored constantly, providing data on a range of functional parameters: step, balance, muscle strength, etc., and carry out real-time evaluation of the wearer’s physical wellbeing.

The system comprises a series of wearable electronic devices which collect biometric data, the communication software between the system and the web platform and page to allow both the wearer and clinical staff to access the data in real time.

The data provided by the sensors are accessible to clinical staff via the web page. The system will also be able to identify if the wearer is at risk of suffering a fall, which is vitally important for the clinical staff as it will enable the design and planning of a preventative response.

The results of the trials have demonstrated the validity of INSTINTO in the prediction of falls and the prototype achieved a predictive performance of between 70 and 75%.

Furthermore, the wearable sensor is capable of an extremely high degree of accuracy in real-time fall detection.
The system developed by INSTINTO integrates wearable sensors into textile articles such as t-shirts, trousers and belts capable of recording biometric data of the elderly wearer and detect if they are in an at-risk situation of suffering a fall.

Preventing falls


When an elderly person has a fall the long-term effect is often a loss of Independence which in turn reduces their quality of life and social integration. This contributes considerably to higher mortality rates. One in three elderly people suffer a fall at least once a year, and this increases for the over-80’s and is one of the main factors affecting the elderly and the second most prevalent cause of accidental death around the world.

Falls affect approximately 16.5% of the elderly population in Spain, and the psychological and social consequences of receiving assistance and feeling afraid and insecure affect between 44% and 64 %; in addition, between 9.7% and 19% of falls end up with a stay in hospital.

The Biomechanics Institute (IBV) is a leader in developing innovative technological solutions aimed at the sociological and healthcare management of frailty in Europe using biomechanical monitoring applications to evaluate the need for primary and specialised assistance.

INSTINTO is an excellent example of this work, and one which seeks to develop new technological solutions to minimise the consequences of an elderly person taking a fall.

The project aims to place the Autonomous Region of Valencia firmly at the forefront of products and services to improve frailty risk management to help prevent falls among the elderly.

The project has been funded by IVACE within the framework of grants for technological centres in the Comunitat Valenciana to develop non-profit R+D projects jointly with the private sector in 2017, co-financed by ERDF funds (50%) via the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.
Reference: IMDEEA/2017/75

31 January, 2018 0 comment
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AITEX creates a cosmetics technical unit

The Institute boasts advanced infrastructure, laboratory equipment and experimental research plant with applications in the cosmetics sector.

The cluster of cosmetics and hygiene companies in and around Alcoy generates around 75 million euros turnover per year and directly employs nearly 450 people.

The Regional Councillor for Sustainable Economy, Rafael Climent, the Director General of IVACE, Júlia Company, and the Director of AITEX, Vicente Blanes this morning presented in Alcoy the new AITEX Cosmetics Unit “A historic commitment to a dynamic emerging sector crying out for research support”, said Climent.

The unit allows AITEX to offer a complete range of services to the cosmetics and hygiene sector in three key areas: characterisation laboratories, QA and product certification in compliance with international standards; applied research, innovation and development of added-value products and specialised technical training. Of particular note is the Institute’s participation in the Masters in the Cosmetics Industry which the PUV has run for the last few years.

The mission objective of the new unit is to create technological know-how and transfer it to companies within the sector, providing them with consultancy services on the development of new formulations and relevant legislation at home and abroad, in the characterisation of cosmetics products and environmental impact studies, in addition to helping manufacturers become more competitive, create greater levels of internal value and to provide access to new business opportunities.

 The potential to enhance the attraction of the sector

AITEX, with over 30 years’ experience in applied chemistry in textile, health and hygiene has been able to take all of its know-how and potential and steer it towards the needs of the world of cosmetics. The Institute has sophisticated cutting-edge equipment, laboratories and experimental research plant available to the sector.

With the launch of this new facility, AITEX consolidates and expands the value of the capabilities and resources it can make available to the cosmetics sector, allowing companies to increase competitiveness and create new business opportunities.

Cosmetics: a growing sector


The Comunitat Valenciana is Spain’s third-largest cosmetics region after Catalonia and Madrid, with 50 companies, according to data supplied by the National Statistics’ Office latest report.

Alcoy has half a dozen companies who manufacture and distribute cosmetics and hygiene products and the small cluster of cosmetics and hygiene companies in and around Alcoy generates around 75 million euros turnover per year and directly employs nearly 450 people.

During the first six months of 2017, exports of cosmetics and perfume from the Comunitat Valenciana reached 279 million euros, 2% of the region’s entire exports.

The constant demand from ever more demanding consumers with more and more specific requirements has promoted the industry to a position of key importance for the creation of wealth, converting it into one of the dynamos for regional industry.

19 January, 2018 0 comment
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Algae-based dyes; a new alternative for sustainable development in the textile industry


In today’s industrial context, the need to reduce environmental impact, use of resources and contamination is becoming ever more pressing. The idea for GREENCOLOR grew from this pretext: the core goal of the project is to substitute synthetic dyes with high-performance algae-based alternatives which meet all the needs of modern industrial applications.

GREENCOLOR aims to provide an alternative to synthetic and plant-based dyes. Algae-based dyes are an ecological and sustainable alternative for applications in textile dyeing and printing processes while avoiding the drawbacks of synthetic dyes and the typically poorer performance obtained using plant-based dyes.

The goal of GREENCOLOR is to substitute synthetic dyes for algae-based alternatives in order to create more sustainable dyeing and printing processes which produce less socio-economic and environmental impact.

In order to achieve the project’s objectives, the applicability of dyes obtained from the following types of algae have been studied:

  • Microalgae
  • Macroalgae
  • Vegetable

The project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through its IVACE programme, and co-funded by the EU’s ERDF within the framework of the ERDF Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.  FILE: IMDEEA/2017/37


18 January, 2018 0 comment
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Technological innovations in obtaining new composite materials: 3D printing


The goals of the ESPRINT project are focused on ways of providing the textile industry with added-value factors through the introduction and use of new 3D printing technology including Melt Deposition Technique (MDT) with double extruder, Continuous Fibre Reinforcing (CFR) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) using photosensitive resins.
To fulfil these objectives, work will be completed in a variety of research lines depending on the expected developments:

  • Research and development of new technical monofilaments obtained through the functionalisation of a range of thermoplastic matrices to enhance the mechanical properties of printed components and the processability of the filament during the printing process.
  • Printing materials that have been reinforced with high-performance fibre with enhanced mechanical properties, using the surface functionalisation of continuous and cut filament carbon fibre.
  • The development of new textile products with a high added-value factor which can be processed easily, cheaply and quickly.
    During additive manufacturing, prototypes are constructed layer by layer, using the different constituent materials, to obtain highly-complex 3D structures with optimised dimensions.

The project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through its IVACE programme, and co-funded by the EU’s ERDF within the framework of the ERDF Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.  FILE: IMDEEA/2017/36

18 January, 2018 0 comment
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The textile industry and electronics applied to the creation of new functional materials


The SMARTCOMP project provides an opportunity to make advances in the field of composite materials by applying smart textile technology. The incorporation of these textile structures reinforces the composite, while improving its thermal properties.

The project focuses on the development of smart textile structures – in other words, the incorporation of textronic elements – to develop multifunctional heat-stable composites.

In recent years, R+D of textiles for use in composites has been studying the creation of textile structures with enhanced mechanical performance and low manufacturing costs. The field of textiles offers a range of exciting possibilities for fabrics with innovative multifunctional properties to enhance composite materials.

The challenge facing this R+D project is the creation of a range of smart textiles which can be integrated into a multi-layer laminated or resin-injected composite structure. This requires the textile component to be both heat-resistant and compatible with the manufacturing processes involved in the composites industry, including the heat-stable resins it typically employs.

The project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE, and co-funded by the EU’s ERDF, within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.  FILE: IMDEEA/2017/7

20 December, 2017 0 comment
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New sustainable functional textiles for home textiles and sportswear


The ultimate goal of the FUN2GARMENT project is to develop a range of environmentally-friendly fabrics with technical and functional finishes. The articles will be personalised and stylishly-designed and created to fulfil a wide range of applications within these two fields.

FUN2GARMENT  is an AITEX project whose core goal is to develop and validate new textile finishing processes using laser, ozone and micronisation techniques adapted to use on natural and synthetic home textile fabrics and sportswear to functionalise the resulting technical fabric. The goal is additionally to save water, energy and chemical products when compared to more conventional approaches to textile treatment which use processes such as spray drying, direct dyeing and dip coating. On other types of fabric such as denim, these new techniques give excellent results in terms of sustainability and product customisation but there are as yet, no validated references here in Spain on their development and application on the type of fabrics and final uses considered by FUN2GARMENT.

The expected results from FUN2GARMENT are:

  • New home textile fabrics (mainly upholstery and curtains) with new textures, customised finishes and innovative designs by laser marking.
  • New pre-treatments (preparation) and cleaning abilities for home textiles achieved using ozone treatment.
  • Sports and leisure wear with laser-marked designs, with aesthetic finished achieved by ozone and micronised dye application, or with functional performance (water/oil-repellence, antimicrobial capability, anti-odour and anti-mosquito performance and flame retardance) via micronised finishing.
  • Reductions in water, energy, time and chemical consumption compared to other finishing processes.
  • General functional, safety, comfort and performance levels which are durable and wash-fast, which will permit future development of high-quality, sustainable textile articles.
  •  Evaluate and measure the project’s impact on leisure and home textile manufacturers and finishers, and suppliers of chemicals and machinery to the textile industry, etc.

The functionalities which are expected to be developed using micronisation technology will be achieved using a process which favours reductions in the consumption of water (more than 80%) chemical products (up to 50%), and waste water (more than 90%) compared to more conventional processes.
The aesthetic and design effects achieved using the three processes during the project will include textures, designs and customised colours using laser marking, controlled colour degradation and enhanced rub and wash fastness using ozone treatment, new dyes with over-dye and random yet repeatable effects achieved using micronisation.

 The project is funded by Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE, and co-funded by the EU’s ERDF, within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.  FILE: IMDEEA/2017/34

20 December, 2017 0 comment
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