FuturoLEAF Project
Inspired by green leaf structure and function

FuturoLEAF is a research project funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union funding for Research and Innovation (RIA) – Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). The aim of the FuturoLEAF project is to develop a 3-dimensional solid-state cell factory (SSCF) mimicking the structure and function of the green leafs. The SSCF takes advantage of metabolically engineered photosynthetic microalgae and cyanobacteria, nanocellulosic building blocks, and specific interactions of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) to transfer sunlight and carbon dioxide into valuable products ranging from active pharmaceuticals to commodity chemicals and fuels with significantly improved production efficiency compared with the current suspension culture systems

What we stand for

FuturoLEAF develops a bio-inspired SSCF technology based on the hierarchical and porous 3D assemblies of nanocellulosic materials capturing water and transporting gases and nutrients for the photosynthetic microbial cells. The cells are assembled into the structure surface via specific interactions using for examples MIP technology for the most efficient light harvesting and CO2 fixing. The photosynthetic cell activity can be supported by other microbial activity for the production of a desired molecule.

The FuturoLEAF SSCF technology to be developed in this project draws inspiration from the green leaf structure and function – nature’s outstanding solution for production of energy from CO2 and sunlight. By designing layers with varying density and porosity, which allow gas exchange, water and nutrient transport, and support cell fitness and viability we will make the photosynthetic cell factory concept economically feasible by the continuous production of chemicals and lowered energy and water consumption.


Countries: Finland, France, Austria, Germany

Duration: 2020-2023

Total budget: 2,95 M€

Latest News

Why the FuturoLEAF research is important?

For a researcher it is always important to realise why our work is important. We often focus on our work so much that sometimes we lose the big picture. The devil is really in the details when you do research, yet the justification for the work is in the greater good. In FuturoLEAF, the big […]


FuturoLEAF successfully started

23.9.2020 kick-off meeting The kick-off meeting of FuturoLEAF project was celebrated on September 23rd 2020 on-line, due to the pandemic, hosted by the project Coordinator VTT. Participants from all partners were engaged in a lively discussion despite the lack of face-to-face contact. In the meeting, the project overview and EU requirements we discussed along with […]