Research and development towards sustainable future

Vistafolia are passionate about championing British engineering and driving innovation and sustainability in the sector.


Vistafolia entered this research collaboration with the University of Surrey to showcase how innovation can inspire new product design and sustainability, which seems imperative in the global marketplace of services and products. Before developing a more sustainable product, realised across its entire life cycle, it’s imperative to tap into the right expertise and knowledge.

This project represents the ideal opportunity to share ideas and transfer knowledge with key academics, just as much as this partnership will become the bedrock for meaningful change. Not only will access to laboratories accelerate the leading role of innovation towards sustainable artificial foliage, but sharing a diversity of expertise from Chemistry, Material Science, Mechanical and Process Engineering will help us centralise the R&D as a platform for facilitating future success.

training and development session



UK Research and Innovation is a UK Government body that directs research and innovation funding to British companies who set out to push boundaries and develop new technology.

GovUK logo has backed this project and this is a great achievement, as they are confident, we can produce this innovative product. Their stringent selection process means that only the very best applicants are approved for funding on their projects.

Surrey-Uni logo

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions, with highly specialised expertise in the sustainability sector.


British innovation is capable of creating meaningful change in our industry. Our commitment to a new generation of bioplastic plant walls is led by pioneering research in partnership with the University of Surrey. Working towards sustainable artificial foliage, our KTP Partnership will spotlight the capabilities of bio-based sources in product innovation.


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Establish a new product formula that involves environmentally friendly constituents

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Cradle to cradle life cycle analysis to ensure products can be recycled at the end of there life span

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Expand UK’s only artificial plant R&D centre

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Market leader in sustainable artificial plants

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Targeting bio-based materials in the manufacturing of our products

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We hope to drive sustainability in the sector while pushing the environmental boundaries in R&D



Bio-based polymers, or biopolymers, are natural materials created using living organism cells, such as biomass, food waste, or used cooking oil, and produce virtually no carbon footprint when compared with petro-carbon resins.


Vistafolia’s existing product already offers a sustainable alternative to living green walls. removing the use of nearly 200 litres of water per year (per sqm of green wall compared to living plants), as well as fertiliser and pesticide , energy and carbon usage. The new product characterisation will build upon this to commit Vistafolia to a carbon neutral future, a first in the industry.

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Vistafolia have always been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries for research and development into artificial foliage, becoming the first company to extend UV protection and so far the only successful blend of UV and FR additives into our products. But even still, we wanted to go a step further and research the possibility of using bio-based rather petro-based plastics.


At present tonnes per year of PE plastics are developed to product artificial plants. Vistafolia’s commitment to the future sees us wanting to turn the industry into developing greener, more sustainable products where recyclability and where the cradle-to-cradle lifecycle has less impact on the planet.




Completing her chemical engineering bachelor’s at the Amir Kabir University of Technology in 2015, Dr Elham Ketabchi then went on study petroleum refining systems engineering for her master’s at the University of Surrey. She has since conducted her chemical engineering PhD at the university, analysing the integration of biomass processing in petroleum refinery systems. Elham has also researched and worked with various materials and their properties, including cementing and drilling fluid analysis, and the application of clay supported catalysts to CO2 recycling while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and she is a patent holder for Effective Catalysts and Process for ABE Upgrading.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership


Mr Hanson Ting has an MEng in Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College London with previous work experience in electric car manufacturing and safety auditing. He has also done research on Self-Cleaning Titanium Dioxide glass coating with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing. He has a keen interest in sustainability, and as such is involved in the sustainable process development part of the project, Life Cycle Assessment as well as supporting the development of the brand-new product both scientifically and commercially.



As a reader of the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability, Jhuma oversees a number of grants with the UKRI and industries, has contributed to over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and supervised numerous PhD and Post-doctorate students in completing their research. Her textbook on biorefineries and chemical processes is the only authored textbook in the field and is internationally recognised for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and she is also on the editorial board of several journals. Jhuma is an international leader in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary biorefinery and bioeconomy research and has received both the IChemE Moulton and Hanson Medals, as well as now sitting on the board for the IChemE Publications Medals Board.



Researching a range of polymers and nano-materials at established research institutes including the University of Mainz, University of Massachusetts, Seoul National University, University of New South Wales and the Curtin University in Perth, Peter now lectures at the University of Surrey in organic and polymer chemistry. Peter has been working on projects including the degradability of vinyl polymers, the changing properties of nanoparticles and how to adapt these depending on environment, and non-toxic polymers, and is the author of over 60 research publications.



Having obtained his PhD in the application of polymers and polymer nano-composites as lightweight impact energy absorbing materials from the University of Cambridge, Iman has also worked at the Imperial College London as a research associate, and for the BIAM-Imperial Centre for material characterisation, processing and modelling working on various aeronautical materials. Iman is now an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Surrey, sharing knowledge on the mechanics of materials and working on various research projects including structural applications, lamination and composite materials.



Beginning his career at the Royal parks. Paul was supervising a team of 40 at Queen Mary’s rose gardens at the age of 24. He also worked at the iconic Kensington palace gardens. After setting up his own company, Paul had won 12 national industry awards in England, plus 8 Chelsea flower show medals including 3 gold medals. Paul has worked with everyone from Uk’s favourite environmentalist to many celebrities both in the UK and overseas. He has also successfully designed and launched 9 new products in the artificial plant market with one gaining patent approval in the UK.

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