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.
LEITAT’s role in the project: As part of their focus on Research, Development, and Innovation Leitat will set up the Bio-Xplore Centre in Spain. The Center’s proven experience in projects and emerging technologies will allow it to identify, facilitate investments and support novel initiatives such as Bio-Xplore through Innova 31. The Leitat partner also brings the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia as an Associate to provide guidance relating to valuable endemic flora in the region.
Number of Contract: ENPI/42/2831
Coordinator: Hadassah College Jerusalem
Email LEITAT manager in charge: Raquel de Sousa Carreira
Starts: November 2011
Duration: 24 months
|Hadassah College Jerusalem||Israel|
|Biodiversity & Environmental Research Center||Palestine|
|LEITAT Technological Centre||Spain|
|Hellenic Regional Development Centre||Greece|