Promoting research for innovation in eco-friendly soft matter


In the EU-funded project FORGREENSOFT, a team from Greek, German and Austrian institutions will explore the importance of promoting research in eco-friendly soft matter and optimize the ways that this can be achieved.

Innovation in eco-friendly soft matter has the potential to drive progress and create a more sustainable future in a wide range of industries, including cosmetics, food, and medical science. A broad range of widely used industrial products, such as polymers, colloids, and emulsions, are made up of synthetic ingredients with a high environmental footprint. In order to meet the urgent societal needs embodied in the European Green Deal and transition to a circular economy, it is vital to replace these synthetic components with green, environmentally-friendly counterparts.

The EU-funded project FORGREENSOFT aims to advance the research capacity of FORTH Crete (Greece) in the area of green, bio-based soft materials through knowledge transfer from leading institutions in the field of Green Chemistry (Max Planck of Colloids and Interfaces) as well as in specific experimental and computational methods (Max Planck for Polymer Research and University of Vienna). The exploitation of the project outcomes, technology transfer and the training in entrepreneurship and innovation management will be pursued in collaboration with the Greek company Euglottia.

For the Faculty of Physics of the University of Vienna, two research groups at the Computational and Soft Matter Physics subunit are involved: the group of Prof. Roberto Cerbino, with advanced optical methods for the study of composite coatings and membranes, and the group of Prof. Christos Likos, with theory and mesoscopic simulations facilitating hydrodynamics for soft colloids, glassy systems and polymer solutions.

The project will focus on two key applications: green antifouling coatings and water desalination membranes. In addition to promoting research in eco-friendly soft matter, FORGREENSOFT also aims to enhance networking activities and improve FORTH's capacity to participate in EU calls, attract industrial funding, and promote innovation. This will be achieved through the transfer of expertise from leading partners, training in soft skills, and the creation of an industry-academia liaison office focused on green soft matter applications. Both FORTH and the leading partners will benefit from new scientific collaborations and the opportunity to extend their expertise in promising research directions.

The FORGREENSOFT project started on December 1, 2022 and will last 36 months


Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Roberto Cerbino

Experimental Soft Matter Physics

Computational and Soft Matter Physics

Faculty of Physics

Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna

Schematic representation of the different institutions involved in FORGREENSOFT and their main tasks in the project (© FORGREENSOFT project consortium)