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Bio-inspired and bionic materials for enhanced photosynthesis

The amount of solar energy that reaches Earth far exceeds our needs and that of other energy sources at ground level – such as geothermic energy, nuclear power and fossil fuels. Maximising the efficiency of solar energy harvesting systems remains a challenge. The EU-funded BEEP project will train researchers in new biomimetic approaches for light management, taking inspiration from the marine world. Here photosynthetic bacteria and algae are the primary producers while many different organisms like giant clams and corals work together with algae and bacteria for optimal solar light harvesting. BEEP is initiating the first-ever interdisciplinary European research training effort in the area of marine biomimetics to create novel hybrid bionic light-harvesting and energy conversion systems like biophotoreactors.