InnCoCells – Innovative high-value cosmetic products from plants and plant cells – is a four-year collaborative research and innovation project that aims to revolutionize the way cosmetic ingredients are discovered, manufactured and developed into validated cosmetic products.

For the next four years, 17 partners, representing 12 countries in Europe will be working together to develop sustainable production systems for plant-derived cosmetic ingredients.

“The main goal of the project is to develop sustainable natural cosmetic ingredients from plants using innovative production processes based on plant cell cultures and plants grown in the greenhouse, field or aeroponic facilities, as well as agricultural waste streams. Plants that are currently in danger of overharvesting will be cultivated in a sustainable and cost-effective manner to ensure that the new ingredients pose no risk to biodiversity or environmental health,” says Dr Kirsi-Marja Oksman, the coordinator of the project from the VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd)

InnCoCells is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101000373 with a budget of €7.9 million.

Partners are universities and research organizations, including two EPSO members VTT (FI) and Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB / BE), SMEs and one large industry partner, EPSO and one sectorial organization representing the cosmetics industry.

EPSO will coordinate and engage the stakeholder group to facilitate their advice to project partners throughout the project on the planning and implementation from their point of view to optimise project results, their uptake and impact. They will support dissemination and exploitation of project results. The SHG will be invited annually to a project meeting EPSO will also support dissemination activities such as producing videos on the project.

By the end of the project, the InnCoCells researchers hope to have addressed seven key objectives:

  • Screening a range of plant species to find at least 10 with relevant metabolic pathways (being careful to observe access and benefit sharing rules).
  • Developing an evaluation pipeline to effectively test the plants for bioactive natural products, aiming to verify the activity of at least 50 ingredients.
  • At least 20 of these will lead to optimized production processes in cell cultures or whole plants, the latter grown in the greenhouse, field or aeroponic facilities.
  • Developing additional processes from at least 10 agricultural waste streams, using a cascade approach to produce multiple extracts from the same source to maximize value.
  • The fifth and sixth objectives involve the development of sustainable pilot-scale production and purification technologies for at least 10 active ingredients, and the assembly of product safety and regulatory dossiers as well as environmental assessments.
  • Sharing the knowledge generated in the project with cosmetics industry stakeholders and end-users, to help to commercialize the ingredients and develop products that will satisfy consumer demands.

Read the full Press release to know more.

Contacts: Dr Kirsi-Marja Oksman ([email protected]) and Dr Richard Twyman ([email protected])