Nanotechnologies and Advanced Materials for the remediation of environmental matrices associated to dewatering (strategic regional innovation project)
NANOBOND is a strategic regional innovation project which aims to develop an innovative system for treating contaminated sludge and dredged sediments by coupling the use of nanostructured eco-friendly materials with the classical geotextile dewatering tubes.
This new solution, will enable to reduce contaminated sludge and sediments in terms of volumes and costs of transport but also to convert the resulting solid and liquid wastes to a renewable clean resource to be use for instance in riverbanks settlements and any other applications. Morover, NANOBOND explores new solutions to dredging and sludge management linked to hydrogeological disruption and maintenance of harbour areas, emerging issues which are hugely increasingly worldwide. This innovative solution aims to became an efficient strategy to significantly reduce sludge and sediment contamination through (nano)remediation, since also easily scalable for large-scale in situ applications with competitive costs.
NANOBOND consortium includes:
• 70% of industrial partnership dealt with water management, sludge and dredged sediment disposal as well as in their risk assessment
• 30% of academia [including 4 distinct research groups] focused on synthesis, eco-safety, development and assessment of solutions and nanostructured materials for an eco-safe and sustainable (nano)reclamation
NANOBOND benefited of the support of the regional Technological District for Advanced Materials, where the idea was incubated and developed

Resources needed

NANOBOND is a large Research and Innovation project of a whole amount of 5M€ of which 1.9M€ funded by the Tuscany Regional Operative Programme (ROP ERDF 2014-2020)

Evidence of success

- New solutions tested on industrially relevant environments (TRL5-6 in urban water purifier of Pisa, harbour area of Livorno) also with a prototype demonstration systems (TRL7)
- Excellence of partnership (include the national Ministry of the Environment) has succeeded in removing legislative barriers to environmental innovation
- High potential for impact in terms of business and environment protection
- Results achieved using RIS3 and ERDF

Difficulties encountered

- Several difficulties to overcome in combining Environment and Innovation, due to lacks in legislations/rules and anyway high bureaucracy level
- Unmotivated suspiciousness + lack of awareness about nanotechnologies cause unfounded fears

Potential for learning or transfer

From the technical point of view, NANOBOND is a RIA and transferability must takes into account IPR agreements.
Nevertheless the KEY SUCCESS FACTOR was having on board industrial stakeholders with a clear business objective as well as a relevant institution able to CERTIFY the full respect of all regulatory issues dealing with environmental treatments. No future otherwise.
From the policy instruments point of view NANOBOND arises from:
­ A policy strategy of rationalization of the regional system for technology transfer that led to the creation of the Technology Districts (TD), organized networks of industries and research centres focused on specific technical skills
­The Tuscany RIS3, developed in synergy with TDs and structured on 3 technological pillars from which originate several strategic applications addressed to different production contexts (e.g. Manufacturing) or societal challenges (e.g. Environment)
­The ROP ERDF 2014-2020 Axis I, fully based on RIS3, which funded it

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Main institution
Toscana, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
May 2016
End Date
December 2018


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