Crises need clever minds – The winner of the innovation award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2020” is a wood fibre-based ready meal tray certified for home composting from Huhtamaki Lurgan (UK/Finland)!

The second place goes to a self-adhesive tape from monta Klebebandwerk (Germany), which consists of 90% renewable raw materials. Third place goes to a functional barrier coating from Fraunhofer ISC (Germany), which is a paper-based and compostable functional barrier coating for food packaging, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Especially in uncertain times, the need for exchange, cooperation and innovation within the bio-based economy is even higher than usual. Politicians and companies are louder than ever calling for a greener economy after the crisis. However, what are the best ways to make the chemical and plastics industry more sustainable? What role can and will the bio-based economy play in the future?

Due to the ongoing corona crisis, nova-Institute held the “13th International Conference on Bio-based Materials” online. The conference featured key innovation topics in the field of bio-based building blocks & polymers, bio-based fine chemicals, breakthroughs in lignin utilization, industrial biotechnology and biodegradable solutions. Future strategies and the latest political regulations were also discussed. The conference has been (so far) the largest event on bioeconomy this year. 44 speakers, mainly from industries, and 240 attendants from 26 countries participated in the online conference and discussed more than 250 questions with the speakers.

Visuals, German version and PDF file available at:

20-05-13 winners_bbmaterial_2020_330px_zimpel
Winners of the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2020”, left to right: 1st place: Huhtamaki Lurgan (UK/Finland); 2nd place: monta Klebebandwerk (Germany); 3rd place: Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC (Germany)


As in every year, the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year” was granted to the most innovative materials and products on the market. Six companies out of 17 applications were previously nominated by an expert jury and the nominees brought their innovative ideas via screen to the participants’ homes. After the presentations of the six nominees, the winners were elected by the audience in an online poll and awarded with their prize, sponsored by YNCORIS Industrial Services (Hürth, Germany). Here are the three winners in detail (see also Graphic: Winner of the innovation award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2020).

First place

Huhtamaki Lurgan (UK/Finland): Fresh – Biodegradable ready meal packaging
Fresh is a fully bio-based and biodegradable ready meal packaging. It is a wood fibre-based ready meal tray, which is functional as a black plastic alternative, but easier to recycle and certified for home composting. It is made from natural wood fibres which are sourced from FSC certified and renewable Nordic forests. Fresh has been developed in collaboration by Huhtamaki, Saladworks (UK), and Södra (SE) through a BBI JU funded Horizon 2020 project (February 2017 – July 2020). The tray is food-safe, both oven proof and microwavable, cooler to touch, maintains rigid when heated and natural aesthetically pleasing. Trays are produced in Northern Ireland by Huhtamaki Lurgan using bespoke machines which were developed by Huhtamaki engineers.
More information:

Second place

monta Klebebandwerk (Germany): monta biopack® – self-adhesive tape
monta biopack® is the first certified sustainable self-adhesive tape made in Germany. Made from about 90% renewable resources, its carrier is a bio-based PLA film that is coated with a natural rubber adhesive. Under industrial composting conditions, this packaging tape biodegrades within a few months. monta biopack® meets the requirements on disintegration, biodegradation, ecotoxicity and material characteristics of EN 13432, ASTM D 6400-04, AS 4736 (2006) and ISO 17088 (2012): Certified by TÜV Austria and awarded with the “OK COMPOST INDUSTRIAL” conformity mark, monta biopack® is the eco-friendly choice for sealing cardboard boxes, biodegradable bags and for bundling flowers and garden waste. Its sustainable roll length of 80 m and 1,200 m reduces unnecessary packaging waste.
More information:

Third place

Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC (Germany): bioORMOCER® – functional barrier coatings
Fraunhofer ISC has developed a functional barrier coating (bioORMOCER®) that enables mono-material packaging, paper-based and compostable. With these coatings, the properties required for packaging food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals can be achieved. The packaging can be easily recycled or composted. bioORMOCER® is bio-based and compostable and it uses bioorganic structures from green waste, or chitosan.
More information:

nova-Institute would like to acknowledge the companies NESTE (Germany/Finland) and UPM (Germany/Finland) for supporting the conference as Gold Sponsors. Special thanks go to YNCORIS Industrial Services (Germany) for sponsoring the innovation award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2020”. Last but not least, we would also like to thank our premium partner CLIB for supporting the conference.


nova-Institut GmbH, 20-05-15


Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie e.V. (CLIB2021)
Fraunhofer Institut für Silicatforschung (ISC)
Huhtamaki Lurgan
monta Klebebandwerk GmbH
Neste Germany GmbH & Renewable and circular polymers and chemicals
nova-Institut GmbH
UPM Biofore House


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