Karin Willquist, RISE, project leader for BIOMIMIC.

Karin Willquist, RISE, project leader for BIOMIMIC.

Great fun! It is project leader Karin Willquist’s spontaneous comment on how it feels to lead BIOMIMIC.

The innovation and research project BIOMIMIC has a very strong focus on biological processes and complex raw materials, waste streams containing metals but in low concentrations. The aim is to develop methods to separate and recover metals using microorganisms – and thus create economic value and take care of waste that is today landfilled or ends up in hazardous waste.

– Quite a lot of research is made today on how to recover metals from secondary materials. But our project is unique as we focus strongly on solutions using microorganisms and sorption material, says Karin Willquist.

For that reason, the biggest challenge for BIOMIMIC will possibly be to keep the time schedule.

– Biological processes generally take time but we have to make the processes work quite fast -we want to reach TRL 5 and will have to cooperate smoothly and openly within the project to succeed. That is one of the reasons I appreciate this consortium so much – the partners bring innovations in the form of microorganisms, sorption material and reactor design or process evaluations skills and are committed to cooperation, says Karin Willquist. And very importantly, the management structure is now in place.

– It is very clear what good skills and infrastructures we have in the consortium – and there is very much collaborative spirit and enthusiasm!

The strong multidisciplinary consortium of problem-owning and end-user industries, innovators and researchers is BIOMIMIC’s biggest strength.

– We also have an advisory board with strong industrial partners. At the next stage, when this project is finished, they can proceed with scaling up and commercialization activities, she says.


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