10.09.2019Student team from Stuttgart wins G-BiB 2019 for the production of new and sustainable surfactants
Surfactants can be found in many products of everyday life, according to a Ceresana market study, worldwide sales in 2016 were 31 billion US dollars. The team of three students, Amira Oraby, Fredy-Wsbaldo Baron-Nunez and Thomas Galonska from the Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, led by mentor Dr. Susanne Zibek, has developed the fermentative production of two biosurfactants from renewable raw materials that are not yet available on the European market. Their company EBS – Engineering Biosurfactants is to be founded next year and will offer surfactants that can be tailored to customer requirements. This idea convinced the jury of experienced investors and venture capitalists in the G BiB final held on 04 September during the CLIB Networking Day and won the G-BiB Award.
They prevailed against the LignoPure team from Hamburg and the Innovived team from Leuven. LignoPure extracts lignin from biomass under chemical-free conditions and thus produces a high-quality and multifunctional biopolymer with many possible applications. Innovived has developed the production of a sustainable 3D print filament from cigarette filter waste and thus contributes to the reduction of plastic waste in nature.
The final award - consisting of a sparring day at High-Tech Gründerfonds, one of Germany's leading pre-seed investors, and 7,500 euros in prize money sponsored by Henkel - is intended to help the young team pursue their idea further.
"All three teams deserved to be in the finals and presented great, innovative ideas, and I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from them," said project assistant Annika Thamm. Katrin Kriebs added: "I am very happy for EBS that they can use the award to advance their idea and I would like to thank HTGF and Henkel for making the award possible."