An OIS AIR Proof of Concept grant to Alessandro Laio and his Research Group

In May 2019 opened OIS-AIR Proof of Concept, an european project which aim is to develop the Open Innovation System of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region to increase the competitiveness of the area through various actions; one, in particular, wants to enhance the technologies validated in research laboratories and develop them in collaboration with company.

100 technologies/research results were submitted by research centers/universities , 65 Research 2 Business joint innovation projects were applied by research centers/universities together with companies, top 10 Research 2 Business innovation projects co-funded with an OISAIR innovation voucher worth 18.500€ each

Among these the first project in the Agro-Bioeconomy Area is "In Silico Design of Peptide-Based Biosensors" developed by the Research Group at SISSA led by Alessandro Laio, Full Professor in the Statistical and Biological Physics. The Business Partner is a transnational partner in the Ionian Adriatic Area, LBABio d.o.o., a biotech start-up company in Ajdovščina, Slovenia that offers services to pharma, biotech and food industry with the focus on biomanufactoring and analytics of proteins, DNA and viruses.

Something about the winning technology

A computational protocol for the in-silico design of peptides which can be employed as probes in biosensors for the detection of small molecules, such as contaminants, additives, drugs, or allergens in the food and cosmetics industries. The technology has the potential to offer a cheap alternative for the quality control of the final product in many industries. Besides food safety and cosmetics, other possible applications fields are biomedical and environmental.


The fast and low-cost synthesis, and a high stability. Moreover, their computational design can optimize their binding properties to the target molecules in any solvent environment, addressing the current limitations in the standard approaches.