SYMBIOREM project to develop new bio-technologies for a cleaner environment

The University of the Basque Country and Greenovate! Europe are glad to announce the launch of the SYMBIOREM project aiming to curb environmental pollution with innovative bioremediation processes.

The presence of pollution in water and soil poses multiple risks to human, animal, and ecosystem health, contributing to diseases and biodiversity loss.

The SYMBIOREM project (full name: Symbiotic, circular bioremediation systems and biotechnology solutions for improved environmental, economic, and social sustainability in pollution control) will tackle these challenges by using the bioremediation capabilities of microorganisms, microbiomes, proteins, plants and animals to remove pollution from the environment.

SYMBIOREM will develop twelve novel bio-based technologies to target the four most common pollutants of soil and groundwater in Europe: heavy metals, mineral oil, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Volatile Aromatic Hydrocarbons (VAH). The project will also focus on mixed contamination, eutrophication, organic micropollutants and microplastic.

SYMBIOREM will test its innovative solutions in five highly polluted environments: industrial brownfields; mixed solid waste landfills; urban surface water bodies with mixed contamination; contaminated soils and surface water bodies; and European marine environments.

This international collaborative project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and coordinated by the University of the Basque Country, will have a duration of four years (2022-2026). The 14 partners taking part in this initiative held a kick-off meeting on 21-22 September in Bilbao (Spain).

The highly interdisciplinary SYMBIOREM Consortium will develop innovative biotechnology solutions to restore polluted ecosystems and contribute to the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan”.

Dr. Leire Ruiz Rubio, Project Coordinator, University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU

Polluted sites will be restored and then used for agriculture, recreation, or commercial purposes. Thanks to the adoption of a circular economy approach, valuable resources (such as Critical Raw Materials) will also be recovered in the process.

SYMBIOREM will widely involve citizens and key stakeholders in participatory processes to co-design and co-manage the bioremediation sites. The final goal being to inspire people across Europe to apply the innovative project’s solutions to clean the environment in their local context.

The SYMBIOREM website ( will be available soon. In the meantime, you can follow the project progress on LinkedIn and Twitter.



SYMBIOREM (Symbiotic, circular bioremediation systems and biotechnology solutions for improved environmental, economic and social sustainability in pollution control) is a four-year project that has received funding from the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement n. 101060361. For more details, please visit:


Further information

Dr. Leire Ruiz Rubio
Project Coordinator, University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU

Dr. José Luis Vilas Vilela
Project Coordinator, University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU


Media contact

Ms. Elisa Casazza
Project Manager, Greenovate! Europe


By Gemma Castejón “You may have missed it, but 1 January 2024 was a landmark day for the circular economy…

Read Story

On 30 May, the INN-PRESSME project is organising its next webinar. Join this event to learn more about our combined…

Read Story

The NEBULA project invites you to the next episode of its webinar series ‘New Bauhaus Stories’, on May 24th 11:30.…

Read Story