CropFit will develop sustainable, agricultural extracts from sunflower by-products

(20-12-2019) The first Bio2Bio follow-up collaborative project BioSUNmulant has recently received 749 K funding from the ERA-NET scheme FACCE SURPLUS.

The project brings together researchers from Ghent University, KU Leuven, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT), as well as industrial partners from Ovalie Innovation and Oleon.

The consortium is led by Prof. Danny Geelen from Horticell (Ghent University). “Sunflower seeds only account for a small part of the plant biomass, leaving a substantial amount unused,” Prof Geelen says, “Our previous studies showed that a side stream from sunflower bark fibre extraction contains bioactive ingredients when applied to plants. This finding is important in the framework of bio-economy and waste valorisation. As a result, it prompted us to develop a project to further consolidate this finding and develop sunflower by-products into new agricultural products. These studies will be combined with further exploration of fibres extracted from sunflower biomass.”

Sunflower biomass value chainThe BioSUNmulant project was initiated in the heart of CropFit. CropFit is a research network of professors associated to Ghent University and HoGent with expertise in biostimulants and biopesticides. Starting from April 2020, the BioSUNmulant project will run for three years, requesting 749k Euro from the Co-fund Scheme. The outcome of the project is an integrated value chain for sunflower biomass by-products, taking into account economic, environmental and societal impacts, contributing to the sustainable development goals. 

FACCE SURPLUS stands for “Sustainable and Resilient Agriculture for Food and non-food systems”. It is an ERA-NET under the Co-fund Scheme of H2020 of the European Union, committed to improve collaborations across the European Research area in the range of diverse yet integrated biomass production and transformation systems, including biorefineries.

Facce Surplus