June 30, 2016
Europe’s not far away, somewhere in Brussels, but very near! Just consider: the European Union supports a remarkable number of projects at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, in the heart of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion.
This is a repost of Europe supports 17 innovative projects in my region, originally published by Klaas Bos (@Klaas_Bos, Google+) and submitted to the Europe in My Region 2016 blogging competition.
Brightlands Chemelot Campus at Sittard-Geleen (NL) is a research and business campus with focus on performance materials and chemicals. It’s the place to be for people who combine knowledge and expertise to accomplish breakthroughs and solutions in the fields ofsustainability and health.
To boost research in these areas, governmental support is essential. The European Union – often with co-funding from the national and regional governments – provides support through various programs:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to strengthen economic and social cohesion by correcting imbalances between EU regions: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/erdf
- Interreg V (Flanders-Netherlands) for cross-border projects, as part of ERDF: www.grensregio.eu (Dutch)
- Horizon 2020, the European Union’s program to stimulate research and innovation: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020
- Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which is the procursor of Horizon 2020: https://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) to equip researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, as part of Horizon 2020: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/marie-sklodowska-curie-actions.
Here are the most remarkable projects at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, involving serious money and with quite some relevance for society as a whole (in most projects other organizations are involved than just the one mentioned).
Kriya Materials develops and commercializes nano-composite coatings with multiple functionalities, resulting in a higher solar cell efficiency.
Neuroplast develops of a mini laboratory for preparing a marrow-derived stem cell product for the treatment of patients with a spinal cord lesion.
3. Bio-based materials for the fragrance and flavors industry
Isobionics increases productivity by developing improved fermentation protocols, extraction technologies, and chemical conversion approaches.
4. Campus Community Building & Communication
Brightlands Chemelot Campus enhances a culture of collaboration between people working at the campus:
- A physical environment where people can easily meet
- Better information for campus residents
- Organizing activities that result in more collaboration.
In ADAM (Advanced Dutch Additive Manufacturing) Xilloc, Atum 3D, and Brightlands Chemelot Campus develop 3D printed guides for dentists and surgeons.
Flowid develops the spinning disc technology from laboratory to commercial scale. It’s about a new type of chemical reactor: smaller, safer, more efficient, and more environment friendly than conventional reactors. Flowid installs the first SpinPro reactor at Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe) develops a pilot plant for the conversion of renewable raw materials (sugars, cellulose, and lignin) into bio-based building blocks. Companies in South Netherlands can use this facility too.
8. Pilot project Thermoplastic Composites
Thermoplastics are plastics that get soft when heated; composites are made from various components, such as glass fibers, carbon fibers, and plastics. Brightlands Materials Center translates knowledge about thermoplastic composites into business practices, in collaboration with eleven SMEs from the region.
9. Biobased Materials Plus
Maastricht University, Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL), Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, DSM, and SABIC develop an innovative learning environment in bio-based materials for international students and professionals.
The development of polymer materials for 3D printing, including bio-based polymers. To that end, expertise and infrastructure (3D printers and characterization equipment) at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Centexbel, KULAK, and TUA West is combined.
Aromatics are important building blocks for the chemical industry, and they’re mostly extracted from increasingly scarce fossil resources. In BIO-HArT technology for an alternative raw material is developed. Process facilities will be created at Ghent, Antwerp, Bergen op Zoom, and Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
The development of new bio-based polymer composites with unique functional and mechanical properties that can for example be applied in cars and home appliances.
Research into the feasibility of the use of biocatalysts in various industries. Biocatalysts (enzymes that are produced by micro-organisms) offer an attractive alternative for the classic synthesis of chemical products, because they can be applied under mild conditions: at room temperature, neutral pH, and under atmospheric pressure.
The development of an open-access infrastructure for the pilot production of nanomaterials, with facilities at Kriya Materials and Fraunhofer ISC Wurzburg.
Yparex helps to develop the best and most beautiful solar PV systems, suitable for both large-scale energy supply and houses.
The development of sustainable enzymatic reactions in the context of ‘green chemistry’. Skipping certain steps in production processes results in more sustainable and more efficient production at a lower cost, with lower energy requirements and with less waste.
The substitution of common catalysts, in particular the noble metals ruthenium, osmium, rhodium, iridium, palladium, and platinum. These are toxic, (therefore) bad for environment, scarce and (therefore) expensive. The research is aimed at their replacement by metals such as manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, and copper, which are less toxic and less scarce.
More information about these and other innovation projects:www.brightlands.com/governmentsupport.
This blog post is also available as SlideShare:http://bit.ly/1TSlvl4.Mathew Lowry