InnCoCells is a Horizon 2020 research and innovation project funded by the EU under the FNR-11-2020 topic “Prospecting aquatic and terrestrial natural biological resources for biologically active compounds”
The four-year project launched in 2021 aims to develop innovative plant-based production processes for the commercial exploitation of scientifically validated cosmetic ingredients using profitable and sustainable cell cultures, aeroponic cultivation, and greenhouse/field cultivation
Image credit: lychees by B. Navez (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Months project duration
Funding in euros
Cosmetics from plants
Higher plants synthesize a diverse range of bioactive, low-molecular-weight metabolites described as small molecules or natural products, offering enormous industrial potential particularly as cosmetic ingredients. The growing use of cosmetics has increased the demand for scientifically validated bioactive ingredients, reflecting a trend towards greater consumer awareness and a growing interest in functional cosmetic formulations. This has encouraged companies to seek innovations and to demonstrate the evidence-based functionality of their products. Growth in the cosmetics industry has also embraced the demand for green products, i.e. cosmetics containing environmentally beneficial and naturally sourced ingredients.
The InnCoCells approach
Instead of exclusively exotic species, we will focus on underutilized plants that are currently unsustainably sourced, as well as underutilized by-products and waste fractions from the agri-food industry. We are convinced that sustainable and cost-effective production systems with a small environmental footprint can be developed for high-value plant-derived cosmetic ingredients and compounds, and the optimal outcome can be achieved by integrating biotechnology-based approaches into more sustainable production chains featuring cutting-edge innovative technologies.