Hop On Facility: A Catalyst for Collaboration and Innovation in Widening R&I Countries

The Horizon Europe (HE) Work Programme has introduced the Hop On Facility mechanism, designed to facilitate the inclusion of entities from low performing research and innovation (R&I) countries, including Portugal, into already selected collaborative R&I actions. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between R&I actors from more advanced countries and those from developing countries, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Success Stories at CESAM
CESAM recently had three projects approved under the Hop On Facility, demonstrating the commitment of our integrated members to R&I and their ability to leverage this initiative to advance their research objectives, as well as to expand their international collaboration network.

Bio-Uptake: A Sustainable Transformation
The Bio-Uptake project, funded under the topic HORIZON-CL4-2021-TWIN-TRANSITION-01-05, aims to ensure the sustainable adoption of bioplastic composites, driving a twin green and digital transformation in the European manufacturing industry. In this context, the project will develop flexible manufacturing processes, using a circular-by-design approach, to produce bio-based products for the construction, medical, and packaging sectors. The CESAM team, coordinated by Isabel Lopes (CESAM/DBIO), contributes to Bio-Uptake with the safe-by-design paradigm, characterising the safety of bio-based materials, intermediate and final products for Environmental and Human Health, allowing Bio-Uptake to comply with sustainability principles.

BMREx: A Biocatalytic Solution for Micro/Nanoplastic Degradation
The BMREx project, funded by the EIC Pathfinder Open 2022, aims to develop a biocatalyst-based membrane reactor technology to remove micro/nanoplastics from domestic and industrial wastewater effluents. The CESAM team, under the scientific coordination of Helena Oliveira (CESAM/DBIO), will contribute to assessing the human health risks associated with exposure to micro and nanoplastics and their degradation products, expanding the project’s focus to encompass human health implications.

Re-MEND: Enhancing Mental Health Resilience
Additionally, the Re-MEND project, funded under the topic HORIZON-HLTH-2021-STAYHLTH-01-02, focuses on building resilience against mental illness during endocrine-sensitive life stages. The CESAM team, led by Rosário Domingues (CESAM/DQUI), will play a crucial role in assessing the plasticity of the lipidome and the contribution of lipid oxidation and nitration in the pathophysiology of mental illness throughout the life course, identifying relevant biomarkers for accurate and early diagnosis, monitoring disease state and progression, predicting disease severity, as well as relapsing-remitting episodes. This will be instrumental in opening new avenues for personalised medicine.

The Hop On Facility is currently open, with the next cut-off date scheduled for 26 September 2024. For more information, please visit this link.

(Text by: CESAM’s Science Management and Knowledge Transfer, and Communication, Promotion, and Dissemination Offices)