About
Project in brief
The Mediterranean area with its unique geology and climate is one of the world's major centers of plant diversity housing approximately 25,000 species, about half of which are endemic to the region. Over centuries, the local population has been using natural materials as medicines for the treatment of a number of diseases. The natural products sector, including herbal medicines, teas, cosmetics and perfumes, has become a fast growing industry worldwide. Considering that less than 1% of plants in the region have been scientifically studied and that 17% of Mediterranean plants are classified as endangered species, the Bio-Xplore project focuses on the identification of commercially valuable natural compounds derived from the flora of the Mediterranean area, with the final aim of protecting the natural resources while creating new sources for local industrial development and job opportunities.
Funding
Total Cost of the project is €1,999,410. Of this the European Union is contributing €1,799,469 (90% ) and the participants are together co-financing the project with €199,941 (10%).
Beneficiary is
Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem (Israel)
Partnership
  • Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center (Palestinian Authority)
  • LEITAT Technological Centre (Spain, Cataluña)
  • Hellenic Regional Development Centre (Greece, Dytiki Ellada)
Specific objective
Employ effective screening methodologies for identifying commercially valuable natural compounds which are derived from the diverse and relatively unexplored flora of the Mediterranean area, increasing local job opportunities and cross-border scientific, business and cultural interaction
Expected results
  • Four bio-exploration centers providing scientific and educational support
  • Identification of new natural compounds with potential for cosmetics, food, supplements and/or pharmaceuticals industries
  • Joint scientific publications
  • Increased employment and business opportunities in the agriculture, food, cosmetics, supplement pharmaceutical and biotech industry
Target groups
  • Scientists including botanists, plant scientists, biotechnology researchers
  • Students in the fields of biology, plant sciences, food sciences and biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical, nutritional and cosmetic industries
Final beneficiaries
  • Government, non-governmental authorities and policy makers in the area of environmental and biodiversity protection
  • Local populations
Duration
The project started in November 2011 and the end date is October 2013. Total duration is 24 months.

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