Innovative high-value cosmetic products from plants and plant cells

01 December 2023 → 30 April 2025
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Algae biotechnology
plant cultivation
Project description

The InnCoCells project will develop innovative and sustainable plant-based production processes for the commercial exploitation of scientifically validated cosmetic ingredients based on underutilised plant resources. We will optimise these resources for profitable and sustainable production using cell cultures, aeroponics and greenhouse/field cultivation. We will apply systematic approaches including metabolic engineering tools to optimise growth conditions and the yields of valuable bioactive, small-molecule compounds and ingredients. The optimised processes will be demonstrated by pilot-scale
production and subsequent product extraction/purification. We will bring at least ten cosmetic ingredients to the pre- commercial stage or market. InnCoCells includes a cascade biorefinery concept in which by-products and biowaste are utilised for the extraction of further bioactive molecules. All processes will be characterised by techno-economic assessment and life cycle analysis to ensure economic feasibility and a reduced environmental footprint. The ingredients and extracts will be evaluated using a unique panel of innovative enzyme-based and cell-based assays to ensure safety and validate claimed
activities based on robust scientific data without animal testing. We will implement a unique stakeholder engagement strategy, including the assembly of a Stakeholder Group to guide our research program based on the needs of industry, academia, farmers, policymakers and consumers. The consortium includes eight SMEs and two large companies from the cosmetic sector among the 17 partners to facilitate exploitation. We will develop bespoke communications strategies for different stakeholders and for public engagement. We will also interact closely with the regulatory authorities in Europe. This industry-driven and terdisciplinary project will ultimately increase the strength of the European bioeconomy by supporting the development of innovative biobased goods and markets.