CHIPP grants for innovative light therapy and natural protection of healthy fats

29 August 2017

The Innovation Fund for Chemistry has awarded CHIPP grants to Andries Meijerink (Utrecht University; UU) and Harry Gruppen (Wageningen University and Research; WUR).

Meijerink and Hummelen’s (University of Groningen; RUG) research groups are cooperating with Seaborough Research (an SME partner) on the development of new nanomaterials for more effective light therapy to treat skin conditions. Project funding amounts to approximately half a million euros.

Gruppen’s research group is cooperating with researchers at the University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology, as well as with private partners (Unilever and Danone) on natural ways of prolonging the shelf life of food products containing unsaturated fats. This project has a total budget of two million euros. The private partners are contributing half of the CHIPP project budget, and NWO is providing the remainder of the funding.

Summaries of the two projects are given below.

New light on light therapy
Andries Meijerink (UU) in cooperation with Kees Hummelen (RUG) and Marie Anne van der Haar (Seaborough Research)
Light therapy is a form of treatment that has been used for centuries in the field of dermatology. It leads to good results for various skin conditions (including eczema and psoriasis), while there are generally few to very few side effects. These days, however, light therapy is often not regarded as the preferred treatment by the attending physician and/or the patient. This is mainly because the treatments are long-term, time-consuming and not easy to carry out at home. The aim of this project is to make light therapy more effective, safer and cheaper by developing new nanomaterials that patients will be able to use at home.

Keep the best: natural control of fat oxidation
Harry Gruppen (WUR) in collaboration with Peter Schoenmakers (University of Amsterdam; UvA), Nico Sommerdijk (Eindhoven University of Technology; TU/e), John van Duynhoven (Unilever) and Hanno Cappon (Danone)
A healthy diet is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. However, these are sensitive to oxygen, which can make them rancid after a while. They then lose their favourable characteristics and develop an unpleasant flavour. This problem is currently controlled by additives or expensive packaging. Consumers are now demanding natural alternatives, however, the necessary fundamental knowledge to develop such ingredients is lacking. In this project, natural mechanisms of action will be used to prevent these products from turning rancid. This will extend the shelf life of food products containing unsaturated fats in a natural way.

About CHIPP

CHIPP is one of the public-private partnership variants that the NWO Exact and Natural Sciences domain finances from the Innovation Fund for Chemistry. CHIPP is intended for public-private partnerships comprising at least one company and at least two knowledge institutes. CHIPP projects receive 50% of their funding from the companies involved and the remaining 50% from NWO. Project budgets range from €750,000 to €2,000,000. The CHIPP SME variant is available for partnerships with SMEs. The minimum CHIPP SME project budget is €160,000. For more information about the Innovation Fund for Chemistry, see: https://www.nwo.nl/onderzoek-en-resultaten/programmas/innovatiefonds+chemie.

Source: NWO