Politecnico di Milano

KARATE’s leading research unit is the Laboratory of Supramolecular and Bio-Nanomaterials (SBNLab), based at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano (PoliMI), a public technical university funded in 1863.

The SBNLab has extensive experience in the development of composite scaffolds from peptides and biomolecules derived from natural sources. Within the scope of the KARATE project, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, PI of the KARATE project, and the SBNLab team will contribute to the development of adequate methods to functionalize recovered keratin, develop keratin-based scaffolds and novel matrices. The PoliMI unit will also coordinate the research activities between the partners involved.

Fondazione Istituto Insubrico Ricerca per la Vita

Founded in 2007 as a nonprofit organization, Fondazione Istituto Insubrico Ricerca per la Vita (FIIRV) is located in Gerenzano (Italy) and has the aim to support, promote and safeguard medical-scientific research. Owing to their ability in developing a large proprietary strain library with high microbial diversity, FIIRV focuses on drug discovery and development of compounds from microbial fermentation.

The research expertise of FIIRV relies on Dr. Giacomo Carenzi and Dr. Monica Abbondi, whose role in KARATE will be related to the identification of suitable strains and enzymes possessing keratolytic activity for feather degradation.

Consorzio Italbiotec

Established in 1998, Consorzio Italbiotec (ITALBIOTEC) is the Italian leading nonprofit organization in the biotechnology ecosystem. ITALBIOTEC promotes biotechnology innovation and broad application, environmental sustainability, and knowledge sharing by creating a cutting-edge platform to boost innovation by providing managing support and coordinating research projects.


With the coordination of Melissa Balzarotti and Cecilia Ceccherini, ITALBIOTEC will provide support in the supervision of the KARATE project, coordinating market analyses and environmental impact assessments of keratin-base products and guaranteeing an effective collaboration with industrial partners.

Universidade da Coruña

Universidade da Coruña (UDC) is a public institution funded in 1989 and located in the city of A Coruña (Spain). The research unit at UDC is based at the Centro de Investigacións Científicas Avanzadas (CICA), a young interdisciplinary research center between chemistry and biology. CICA scientific activity and production fall within three main strategic areas: biomedicine, nanoscience and advanced materials, and food contamination and health.


The UDC research unit is led by Prof. Elena Pazos and includes Dr. Francisco Fernández Trillo. Owing to their expertise with organic synthesis and chemical biofunctionalization, they will contribute to development of optimized protocols to functionalize recovered keratins, develop novel keratin matrices and scale up their production.