BIOMATDB: one year on

The BIOMATDB project recently celebrated its first year. On this occasion, let’s take some time to reflect on the activities that have been undertaken as well as the progress the consortium has achieved in the last 12 months!

Consortium meetings

The BIOMATDB partners met virtually at the kick-off meeting during the first month of the project, in June 2022. It was the opportunity to get to know each organisation better, their expertise and the tasks they will contribute to. This first online encounter also started the work on the identification of the various stakeholders within the biomaterials community and the definition and categorisation of biomaterials.

In September 2022, the partners gathered in Vienna for the first consortium workshop. They discussed the upcoming activities -such as the stakeholder information collection, the knowledge compilation and the mapping of existing ontologies, databases and marketplaces- in details. They were also introduced to the computational concepts, methods and components that will be used to develop the BIOMATDB database and marketplace.

Stakeholders surveys and interviews

Following the initial identification of the biomaterials stakeholders, the consortium designed five different surveys to enable the collection of the opinions, needs and requirements from the five categories of potential future users that are: researchers, suppliers, enablers (such as societies or networks), demanders (like hospitals and other purchasing entities), and investors and policy-makers. This step was complemented with more qualitative interviews, and the responses obtained through both streams provided a valuable indication on the users’ expectations and preferences that should be prioritised when starting to design the biomaterials database and marketplace.

We therefore sincerely thank the contributors who kindly helped with this important task by answering our survey or giving an interview!

Development of the technical solutions

The results from the surveys and interviews, together with the scientific expertise within the BIOMATDB partners, laid the foundation for the conceptualisation of the digital solutions. In the past months, the technical partners have been actively working on the development of the biomaterials database and marketplace. This includes both the back-end (the selection and treatment of the data that will be used by the users) and the front-end (the interactive interface that the user will use to search and visualise the data) of the applications.

Dissemination activities

BIOMATDB boasts several online communication platforms that were created to raise awareness about the project and its objectives, and update supporters on the progress: a Twitter channel, a LinkedIn account, and a dedicated website that is updated regularly with news articles from the partners.

The consortium has also engaged in clustering activities in order to develop relationships and establish collaborations with other European projects. Cooperation with relevant initiatives will enable to join forces and enhance the impact of the project outcomes.

Partners participated in various types of events such as conferences, fairs and workshops to promote the BIOMATDB project but also directly meet relevant and interested stakeholders from the field of biomaterials. This is important to spread the word about the digital solutions that we are developing, but also to recruit more end users whose input and contribution will be crucial for the next steps. To this end, Clust-ER Health participated in:

  • Bioceramics 32, Venice (Italy) – September 2022
  • B.T. Expo Shomed, Modena (Italy) – October 2022
  • Workshop “Developments and sustainability in healthcare applications”, Mirandola (Italy) – March 2023
  • BIO International Convention, Boston (USA) – June 2023

Next steps

The development of the biomaterials database and marketplace is continuing steadily. The consortium is currently organising the demonstration and validation phase of the project, which will be crucial to ensure that the solutions are functional, useful, efficient, and enjoyable to the intended users.

We are therefore always looking for more individuals working in the sector of biomaterials or medical devices to support our efforts and share their opinions with us. If you would like to contribute, please get in touch!

“Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”

The Clust-ERs are financed by the European Funds of the Emilia-Romagna Region - ERDF ROP 2014-2020