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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Frontier IP Group takes a stake in eco-friendly Portuguese start-up

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 7th, 2018

Frontier IP Group, a company focused on commercializing university intellectual property, has taken a 25% stake in a start-up from Portugal’s NOVA University Lisbon that is developing environmentally friendly alternatives to the chemicals used in beauty, pharmaceutical, personal care and other products.

Des Solutio has designed its Natural Deep Eutetic Solvents (NADES) to replace toxic organic solvents such as ethanol in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and other applications. These solvents are commonly used to extract active ingredients from natural materials such as olive oil, mint or seaweed to provide products with flavor or scent.

Des Solutio has an advantage over current solvents in that its NADES are found in a vast range of plants and are entirely derived from natural components such as organic acids, amino acids and sugars. They can be matched to specific active ingredients to extract only what is needed, and there is no need to recover an active ingredient from NADES, unlike conventional solvents, some of which are too toxic for use on skin or in foods.

In return for its stake in Des Solutio, Frontier IP will provide the company with a broad range of commercialization resources, such as industry networking and contract negotiations.

“We’re delighted to be working with Frontier IP on developing and bringing this groundbreaking science into the commercial world,” says Ana Rita Duarte, associate professor at NOVA and co-founder of Des Solutio. “NADES have huge potential for making a host of everyday products greener and safer for people to use.”

Source: DirectorsTalk Interviews

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