The nanoBAT project will bring several improvements over the state-of-the-art:
It will create the first nanostructured system to carry and deliver L-menthol to its receptor and, in doing so, increase the activity of brown adipose tissue and, thus, metabolic activity.
It will avoid the conversion of L-menthol to its metabolites, leading to a higher stimulation of brown adipose tissue activity, white adipose tissue plasticity, as well as lower body weight gain.
It will lead to the development of both nanoparticles and nanotubes in order to deliver L-menthol directly to its receptor and preserve its chemical structure into the body.
This intersectoral collaboration will generate tangible outcomes that will benefit all the relevant stakeholders (business, academia, public). The benefits involved fall into the following 3 categories:
Increase the economic output of European Union and create jobs by creating new niche markets and product lines.
Increase the competitiveness of the European Union area by increasing its innovation capital at the research and business level, alike.
Increase the confidence of the public to the innovative potential of the European Union created when industry and academia join forces. We will achieve this by raising awareness of the results of the nanoBAT project in the public, industrial, and academic communities.
The intersectoral exchanges will be a wonderful opportunity for the staff at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universita degli Studi di Padova. Across the industrialized nations, the academic sector has lagged behind the industry in instituting programmes related to human resources, skills and career perspectives. In this light, the intersectoral and multidisciplinary nanoBAT project is an excellent opportunity for them to provide new skills and career perspectives for their staff. On the other hand, staff at Imedica SA, Artia Nano - Engineering & Consulting IKE, and Inocure SRO are more familiar with programmes related to human resources, skills and career perspectives. Nevertheless, they need to be exposed to state of the art research and expertise in order to gain/maintain their advantage over colleagues working in other companies. This is always a challenge for staff working in small-medium enterprisies due to the companies’ relative small size and limited resources. Consequently, the intersectoral and multidisciplinary nanoBAT project will be a significant boost in the research- and innovation-related human resources and skills of Imedica SA, Artia Nano - Engineering & Consulting IKE, and Inocure SRO that, according to research evidence, can lead to real business advantage. Indeed, the training of each researcher will contribute to each participant’s research capacity in the field of nanoengineering, with further potential innovations arising in the future.
Developing a nanostructured system to carry and deliver L-menthol to its receptor for increasing the activity of brown adipose tissue is crucial in the fight against metabolic pandemics such as obesity and in various industries (e.g., foods, pharmaceuticals). The use of nanotechnology in biological applications is being widely explored, e.g. polymeric and metallic nanoparticles as well as nanotubes have been found applicable in drug delivery, bioimaging and biosensing. Nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes are of great scientific interest as they are currently used clinically as delivery systems for a wide range of drugs particularly as carriers for oral drug delivery in order to improve drugs stability under extreme pH conditions and bioavailability across the gastrointestinal mucosa. Consequently, the results of nanoBAT will possibly have spill over effects in various different sectors and industries and will lead to new findings and development of more innovative products. This will be an enormous investment for the future of the European economy in terms of competiveness and job creation. In this light, the results of nanoBAT will be a milestone in brown adipose tissue and obesity-related research.
In addition to benefits for the participants, the nanoBAT exchange programme will provide benefits to the exchanged researchers including personal development, career progress, exposure to a different organisational culture, opportunity to change direction and time for contemplation and re-evaluation of existing skills and abilities. Another important benefit that will enhance our research- and innovation-related human resources is that exchanged researchers will bring skills into the organisation that otherwise would not have been available. Not only will our exchange plan allow the learning of new skills, but it will also expose the exchanged researchers to the idea that there are skills in which they are deficient. In this sense, the current approach is better than training because a researcher about to embark on some training is already aware that they need to develop a specific skill set, whereas our approach will provide the opportunity to be exposed to the way other organisations operate.
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation
programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 691061”