A comprehensive solution for innovative biobased entrepreneurs that operate at the interface of agro and chemistry. This is what the Green Chemistry Campus has been offering young, innovative entrepreneurs for five years. To extend this success, companies, local authorities and the province of Noord-Brabant are joining forces with new investments, new partnerships and a new director.
From biomass via green building blocks able to fulfil the growing demand from consumer brands to sustainable materials and attracting innovating SMEs – that’s what the Green Chemistry Campus is about.Marc Jamin - SABIC
Accelerating biobased innovations: from biomass to market
Companies like Nettenergy, MiIlvision, NNRGY Crops and the Shared Research Center Biorizon of VITO, TNO and ECN have achieved positive results at the Campus over the last five years. For biobased entrepreneurs and research programmes there are four key ingredients: access to raw materials, facilities, market access and financing. Based on the experience that has been gained in these last five years and interviews with entrepreneurs, government and education, the Campus is expanding its range:
- Resources: On the SABIC terrain the growing of elephant grass is being tested and in the direct vicinity of the Campus food-processing companies are looking for a destination for their waste streams. Waste is used as a resource at the Campus.
- Facilities: A new feature of the Campus, which is located on the SABIC terrain, will be a demo hall and dedicated access along with additional accommodation and laboratory space in the longer term. More intensive collaboration with the other top locations in the Biobased Delta will enable entrepreneurs located in one of these locations to also benefit from the facilities of the other locations. Such as the research and pilot facilities, a communal location for demos, start-ups and small-scale production activities and accommodation options for production companies at Nieuw Prinsenland in Dinteloord. At the Port and Industrial Park of Moerdijk work is being carried out on wood refining and thermochemical conversion. Finally, the collaboration with Chemelot (material development) is being intensified. This complements the focus of the Campus: the utilisation of sugars from agricultural waste in green building blocks for high-performance materials, chemicals and coatings.
- Market access: With assistance from industrial parties in the region, the Campus will scout entrepreneurs and coach them on market-driven biobased applications and technology. Companies can also join an increasing number of thematic clusters –including biobased aromatics, colouring, fibres, bioplastics, packaging and building products – in which industry, research and education partners collaborate along open innovation lines.
- Financing: The Campus gives entrepreneurs access to loans and finance experts, such as BOM Capital, as well as valuable knowledge and expertise via research and educational institutions.
Signing the agreement by Annemarie Vrijenhoek – De Vries (municipality of Bergen op Zoom & N.V. Indumij), Bert Pauli (province of Noord-Brabant), Peter van den Dorpel (Green Chemistry Campus), Leon Kalle (SABIC) and Henk Rosman (N.V. REWIN West-Brabant).
Scaling up the Campus is an important next step in the development of knowledge, business and innovation in the region.Frank Petter - Mayor of Bergen op Zoom who is the coordinating executive on behalf of the region
Collaborating on a world-class biobased ecosystem
Scaling up the Campus is part of a widely supported ambition of local and regional authorities to offer entrepreneurs a globally unique biobased ecosystem in the Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Zuid-Holland triangle: the Biobased Delta. This is why shareholder, the Province of Noord-Brabant, is also investing over the next few years in the Campus and in the whole Biobased Delta. As deputee Bert Pauli says, “not only can the collaboration between companies and knowledge institutions contribute to a more sustainable society but it also gives the knowledge economy and employment in the region a significant boost.”
Apart from the province, the municipality of Bergen op Zoom (via N.V. Indumij) and N.V. REWIN West-Brabant (both shareholders) along with the municipalities of Steenbergen and Moerdijk are contributing to the biobased ecosystem. The aim is by 2020 for the region to have 355 people working in the biobased economy, spread across young innovative companies that have outgrown the start-up phase, companies in the product development phase, knowledge institutions and service providers. Mayor of Bergen op Zoom, Frank Petter, who is the coordinating executive on behalf of the region: “Scaling up the Campus is an important next step in the development of knowledge, business and innovation in the region.”
In the past five years Paul Nijskens, former director of REWIN, has been at the helm of the Campus. He is now passing on this role to Peter van den Dorpel who earned his spurs in the industry in positions such as managing director of Europa at GE. Van den Dorpel: “The Campus has everything required to become a leading international hub for green chemistry. I am really looking forward to working with the companies and the team at the Campus to make this a reality!”