Where Ideas grow

Fundação Amadeu Dias invests in i3S technology

For the second consecutive year, the Fundação Amadeu Dias (Amadeu Dias Foundation - FAD) through the BIP Proof program has teamed up with the University of Porto to invest in innovative technologies and funded the Cyanocare project, led by Rita Mota.

Cyanocare, explains the researcher, "is based on a polymer naturally produced in large quantities by a marine cyanobacterium – Cyanoflan". Due to its natural properties, this raw material can be used in different industries such as biopharmaceuticals. This cyanobacteria, Rita Mota said, "can be used in cosmetic and body care products, enabling the replacement of synthetic compounds with natural renewable products".

For the researcher, who has already taken the CyanoCare project to the UPTEC Startup School and the Climate Launchpad Portugal competition (winning 3rd place), BIP Proof's support will be crucial: "We will be able to deepen the application of Cyanoflan in the area of cosmetics in collaboration with industrial partners. Support will include consulting services with a reputable company and screening of Cyanoflan's biological activity to see if it can also be used as an active ingredient".

The i3S team coordinated by Rita Mota will also begin toxicological testing of this biopolymer. The goal of the project is to obtain a "100% natural ingredient that can be incorporated into products from different industries allowing to reach ecologically conscious consumers".

With a total value of 40,000 euros, the BIP Proof program was awarded this year to three more research teams from the University of Porto: the ACTONP53 project, developed by Lucília Saraiva, professor and researcher at the Faculty of Pharmacy of U.Porto (FFUP) and LAQV / REQUIMTE, and her PhD student Helena Ramos, and the project IR Bactyping, currently being developed by the researchers at the Faculty of Pharmacy Ana Freitas, Ana Freitas, Ângela Novais, Luísa Peixe and Teresa Ribeiro. The winners of the fourth project have not yet been announced. The amount awarded will be used by the teams in the "development of proof of concept to validate their research".

For Helder Vasconcelos, Vice-Rector of the University of Porto, who takes on business relations, innovation and entrepreneurship, this partnership with the Amadeu Dias Foundation constitutes “invaluable” support, as it allows U. Porto Inovação - which is responsible for the BIP Proof - to continue to work on "developing actions to demonstrate the technological and commercial viability of technologies in U. Porto's translational research". The Amadeu Dias Foundation, for its part, considers the UP a "fundamental partner and of great prestige for the work of the foundation".