Enterprise Europe Network

The Portuguese company which designs swimwear from recycled fabrics is looking for a tecnical or research cooperation agreement for its Micro Catch Project

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External Id: 
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Partner keyword: 
Industrial Water Treatment
Wastewater Recycling
Water Resources Management
Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems


In the past two years, a Portuguese company has started two social responsible companies in Portugal with a focus on highlighting plastic pollution in Portuguese oceans while implementing Circular Economy practices. They are creating sustainable swimwear made from recycled fabrics (originated from fishing-nets and recycled plastic bottles) - contributing to a more sustainable future. The company wants to establish a technical cooperation agreement and/ or a research cooperation agreement.



With the proliferation of micro plastics in the water streams and in the food chain, they need to create a practical and effortless solution to be widespread and have a strong adoption and environmental impact. They intend to create a solution that can be adopted and integrated by manufacturers of textile/fashion and domestic appliances in their current products or value chains. Possible applications of the solutions are to integrate the system in the inner basket of washing machines or water outlet, or to be sold individually together with sports clothes made of synthetic fibres.

As the Portuguese company is in the idea stage, no decision is made on the solution to be adopted but a multifunctional lamellar structure to act as a filter or absorbent of the micro plastics are some of the options on the table.

The company wants to establish a technical cooperation agreement and/ or a research cooperation agreement.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
According to World Economic Report, it is estimated that there are over 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean and that each year an additional 8 million tons are leaked. All this plastic will, over a long period of time, release very small plastic particles, which are commonly referred to as micro plastics. Synthetic fibers, like polyester and nylon, are in fact types of plastic and these are currently some of the most used fabrics in the world. Similarly to other types of plastic, these materials when washed, release the very same micro plastics into water stream, ultimately ending up in our oceans and in our food chain. The company intends to develop a system called Micro Catch, designed to be used during the washing process of synthetic clothing in order to prevent micro plastics from going into the water stream, rivers, oceans, and ultimately into the food people eat. As households and water treatment stations are not able to filter and prevent micro plastics from going into the water streams, mainly due to their small particle size (<5 millimetres), the company aims at developing a functional product that will be adaptable, user-friendly and affordable enough to be used in as many households and institutions as possible and that tackles this problem more effectively than the current solutions available. From initial talks with potential partners, the company is currently analysing different technologies that may be more efficient in preventing the spreading of micro plastics.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Concept stage

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Portuguese company is looking to outsource the R&D activities to a research organization that shall cooperate with industrial companies, universities and research centres in Europe. The project will be led by the Portuguese company, and it will facilitate communication between all parties involved. They expect the R&D partner to lead the products development and testing developments and provide expertise in the area. They want to establish a research cooperation agreement and/ or a technical cooperation agreement

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
R&D Institution