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My Blue CosmET'IC Congress: microalgae and the sea at the service of beauty

From March 10 to 12, 2021, Banyuls will host the My Blue CosmET'IC international meetings on "beauty and the sea" at the Arago laboratory, a historic site for research into the marine environment.

A three-day conference for the cosmetics industry, organized with the support of the Tara Ocean Foundation, CNRS and Sorbonne University. A half-day exchange with start-ups from research laboratories is also planned.

The aim: to take stock of the latest research and initiatives on the aquatic environment for the entire cosmetics industry, from ingredients to formulations and packaging.

Microalgae will be at the heart of the debate. Used in chemical formulas in soluble or dispersible form (in the form of microparticles that remain in suspension), they also produce chemically fractionated substances (hydrolyzed into sugars) to provide raw materials for the manufacture of biobased polymers. 

Biosourced or eco-responsible packaging will be discussed on several occasions, including a presentation of the Spice initiative (for Sustainable packaging initiative for cosmetics) launched by L'Oréal and environmental consultancy specialist Quantis to build the future of sustainable packaging and reduce the environmental footprint of cosmetic products.

The scientific committee includes academics and industrialists. "My Blue CosmET'IC is a unique congress in terms of its scientific value and the scope of the fields covered. International experts will be sharing their work on biodiversity, biomimicry and biodegradability. Ingredients and packaging will also be in the spotlight. Our aim is to provide a clear vision and an objective reading of the data published in the literature. For example, Febea will demonstrate that cosmetics account for a tiny fraction of water pollution. The environmental impact of sunscreens will also be addressed, with the presentation of dedicated tools", says Claudie Willemin, former President of the IFSCC (International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists), who initiated the event with Oceanics.

Stéphane Bruzaud, a member of the scientific committee and speaker at the Institut de recherche Dupuy de Lôme (Université de Bretagne-Sud), designs biosourced and biodegradable polymers for the packaging and cosmetics industries in particular (produced from plant biomass, mainly by fermentation). It is also working on adapting the properties of these bacterial and biosourced polymers by modifying the structure of PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) and monitoring their biodegradability in various environments, notably marine. In partnership with the Tara Océan association, it is also working to characterize environmental pollution by plastics and microplastics, designing extraction devices to quantify and qualify them.

Greensea, a subsidiary of Greentech specializing in microalgae cultivation and the transformation of algae into innovative ingredients, is the event's premium sponsor. "My Blue CosmET'IC is an important event. Sponsoring the event enables us to support the industry and, on an industrial level, to initiate new collaborations. We are convinced of the value of the congress, and it seemed only natural to support the initiative launched by Claudie Willemin".says Jean-Yves Berthon, Chairman and CEO of the Greentech Group.

Other sponsors: L'Oréal, Pierre Fabre as well as Codif (a biotechnology and skin biology specialist developing new active ingredients and unique study models), Basf, DSM, Grosset-Fournier & Demachy (an industrial property consultancy), and Seppic, while Mibelle Group sponsors My Blue CosmET'IC Innov'AwaRD, a start-up competition.

The My Blue CosmET'IC conference will be accessible remotely, live, in an interactive and immersive format.

Greensea, premium sponsor

A subsidiary of the Greentech group, Greensea (formerly Aquamer) has been supplying the world market for 35 years with algae, microalgae and active ingredients derived from aquatic plants and destined for various markets, including cosmetics.

The company has some 10,000 liters of production capacity in tubular and annular reactors, and collaborates with Portuguese company Allmicroalgae, a 50-% subsidiary of Greentech, which produces over 100 tons of microalgae each year.

Greensea is taking part in the Oceanomics future investment program in connection with the Tara expeditions.

A European PHA consortium

The Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme is a stakeholder in the European NENU2PHAR project, which aims to develop a sustainable European PHA-based bioplastics industry.

Selected under the H2020 call for projects, the project brings together some 17 partners. The consortium held its kick-off meeting in September 2020. Initiated for a 4.5-year period and coordinated by the CEA, it is supported to the tune of almost 5 million euros by the European Commission. From the selection of bacterial strains or microalgae for PHA production to the formulation and processing of biopolymers and the production of eight different PHA-based products for various application markets, including cosmetics: this project covers the entire value chain for the production and use of PHA-based bioplastics.

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