Flemish government approves 12 Moonshot projects

The Flemish government has approved a first series of projects within the Moonshot initiative. In total, 9 cSBO and 3 LSI projects received support worth more than 18 million euro. With this support, Flemish universities and other research institutes can start working on breakthrough technologies and ground-breaking innovations to make Flemish industries carbon circular and low in CO2 by 2050.

The Flemish government has approved a first series of projects within the Flanders Industry Innovation Moonshot. In this ambitious industrial innovation programme hosted by Catalisti, Flemish universities, research institutes and industries join hands to develop breakthrough technologies by 2040 to create new climate-friendly processes and products. These new technologies will enable Flemish industries to become carbon circular and low in CO2 by 2050. This way, Flemish industries contribute to meeting Flanders’ European and international climate commitments.

It is a big responsibility to take the lead in in this ground-breaking research programme, in cooperation with research institutes, industries and other spearhead clusters. The Moonshot initiative is the start of a long tour of discovery with an uncertain outcome. That’s just the inherent risk in innovation. – Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director of Catalisti

The projects approved by the Flemish government include 9 cSBO projects and 3 LSI projects. cSBO (Strategic Basic Research for clusters) projects involve innovative research that tests disruptive ideas. This research is pursued through intensive collaboration between UGent, KULeuven, UAntwerpen, VUB, UHasselt, VITO and Centexbel. cSBO projects within the Moonshot initiative have a maximum duration of 18 months. LSI (Later Stage Innovation) projects, on the other hand, aim to accelerate research opportunities that have already proven their feasibility at low TRL. Each LSI project has a maximum duration of 36 months. All approved projects will kick off no later than April 2020.

In the meantime, Catalisti is already shaping the next series of Moonshot projects. From 2020 up to 2040, the Flemish government will invest 20 million euro in Moonshot projects every single year, totalling 400 million euro worth of support and translating climate ambition into action.

Check the full list of projects via:

Or read the press release by VLAIO (in Dutch) via:

SusChem presents new SIRA

At its 2019 Stakeholders Event on November 27th, SusChem presented the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SIRA).

With its new SIRA, SusChem aims to respond to global challenges and aspires to bring its vision towards 2030. In order to find solutions for a more sustainable future, SIRA recommends high-level priorities and provides a technology roadmap.

SIRA’s priorities focus on the main pillars of SusChem: Advanced Materials, Advanced Processes and enabling Digital Technologies as well as their synergies. The horizontal topics safe-by-design, sustainability assessment, as well as education and skills are part of SIRA’s strategic recommendations for reflection and discussion.

SIRA reflects the strategy and role of sustainable chemistry and industrial biotech in boosting innovation in Europe, in the context of Horizon Europe and beyond. As the European Commission is currently developing the Horizon Europe framework, SIRA can be used as a guideline for drawing up Horizon Europe’s programmes and future project calls.

The new SusChem SIRA is the result of a collaborative and cocreation effort, across Europe, together with all SusChem stakeholders. Catalisti would like to thank all experts in its network for their valuable contributions.

Read the full Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda here:

Job opportunity @ DCM/Scientia Terrae – Expert Biobased Chemistry

Scientia Terrae is a not-for-profit-organization that functions as a research, service and education institute for the benefit of the horticulture industry and food sector. The company has positioned itself at the interface between the academic world and the agriculture industry to translate fundamental science into practical solutions and real-world applications.

Because of continuous growth, Scientia Terrae is looking for an Expert Biobased Chemistry to expand their team.

Your responsabilities

In this position at Scientia Terrae, you will be responsible for experimental work and support concerning diverse chemical challenges within simultaneous research projects regarding product- and process optimization, as well as product development. You will have a strong collaboration and interaction with the various research teams at Scientia Terrae, as well as with the teams of R&D, Product Management and Production at DCM (De Ceuster Meststoffen in Grobbendonk). In general, your role will strongly focus on your expertise in biobased chemistry, where your main goals will be:

  • Developing biobased chemical formulations (primarily liquids) in the field of organic fertilizers, biocontrol products and biostimulants
  • Searching and using raw materials and additives that can be used in biological farming, to obtain chemically and biologically stable products that retain their quality parameters during storage
  • Sourcing, developing and applying extraction methods that are allowed to be used in biological farming
  • Translating formulations from lab scale to production scale
  • Initiating innovative biochemical techniques and ensuring a thorough follow up after implementation
  • Following up plant trials to better understand the effects of different formulations regarding plant growth
  • Writing protocols and maintaining accurate and extensive documentation in accordance with internal procedures
  • Developing a network of interesting external stakeholders that can provide extra support/knowledge regarding new methods and techniques

Your profile

You have a Master degree in Bio-engineering: Chemistry & Bioprocess technology, Master in Chemistry, Master in Catalytic Technology or a Master in Industrial Sciences: Chemistry and you have a least five years of experience within a similar of related position. Furthermore, you have an outspoken interest for the horticultural and agricultural sector.

You are passionate about working in the lab and you consider yourself to be a real specialist in formulation technology. However, within every project, you stay absolutely solution focused in your approach.

You have strong communication skills and you have a good pragmatic attitude. You are action and goal oriented and you show a high analytical capacity with strong creative problem solving qualities.

You are a true team player with excellent interpersonal skills that make it possible to work efficiently with people of all backgrounds. On the other hand, you are able to work very independently and you show strong eager to take initiative. You fit perfectly within a matrix structure. When required, you are willing to work flexibly to achieve deadlines and you are willing to travel to Grobbendonk occasionally.

You are fluent in English (speaking and writing) and you can work with an international and diverse team. Knowledge of Dutch is seen as an asset.

Scientia Terrae’s offer

Scientia Terrae offers a challenging and innovative environment where you can play an important role in a dynamic research center that works in close collaboration with the family holding Group De Ceuster. Initiative and professionalism are greatly appreciated within a company that’s represented by an open culture and a high involvement of its employees. Your remuneration will be in accordance with your experience and responsibilities.

Find out more about this job offer and the application process at:

Jan Van Havenbergh en Luc Van Ginneken in NPT Magazine

Wat brengt de toekomst voor de Vlaamse chemie- en kunststoffensector? Zijn ecologische en economische realiteiten verzoenbaar? En hoe kijkt Catalisti de toekomst tegemoet? Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director bij Catalisti, en collega Luc Van Ginneken delen hun visie op samenwerking in de sector, verduurzaming en het ambitieuze Moonshot-programma in de nieuwste editie van NPT Magazine.

“Verduurzaming is de enige weg vooruit”, weet Luc Van Ginneken, catalyst bij Catalisti. “De Europese chemie staat onder druk, enerzijds van de wereldwijde concurrentie, anderzijds van de strenge regelgeving die Europa voorschrijft. De tijd van treuzelen is voorbij. Wie nog langer afwacht, zal zijn competitiviteit achteruit zien gaan. Als we de chemiesector hier willen houden dan moeten we snel leidend worden in milieuvriendelijke processen, zodat men in andere landen geen excuus meer heeft om een vervuilende manier van werken aan te houden.”

Alle omstandigheden zijn hier in Vlaanderen aanwezig om wereldtop te worden in een duurzame chemie: nabijheid van kennisinstellingen, professoren die uitblinken in hun onderzoeksveld, en de wil om samen aan ideeën te werken. – Luc Van Ginneken, catalyst bij Catalisti

Met de verwezenlijkingen die Catalisti reeds op zijn palmares heeft staan en de focus die er altijd geweest is op de transitie naar een duurzame economie, was de keuze van de Vlaamse Regering voor een regisseur voor het Moonshot-programma snel gemaakt. De komende twintig jaar zal er jaarlijks twintig miljoen euro worden uitgetrokken voor fundamenteel onderzoek naar manieren om de CO2-uitstoot te vermijden in drie cruciale sectoren, samen goed voor 90% van de CO2-emissies: chemie, petrochemie en staal. “In 2012 waren we er van overtuigd dat er een eind zou komen aan de beschikbare reserves aan fossiele brandstoffen. De kostprijs ging snel de hoogte in. Het ging erom de grondstoffen voor chemie en kunststoffen veilig te stellen”, vertelt Jan Van Havenbergh. “Vandaag draait het meer om het vermijden van CO2-emissies en het waarmaken van klimaatdoelstellingen om de wereld veilig te stellen. De manier om beide doelen te bereiken loopt min of meer langs dezelfde weg.

Door de synergie tussen de ecologische en economische impact hangt er geen partijkleur aan het Moonshot-project. We hopen dat de toekomstige regering beseft wat er van afhangt en de kraan eerder meer opendraait dan sluit. – Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director bij Catalisti

Meer weten? Lees gratis het interview met Jan Van Havenbergh en Luc Van Ginneken in NPT Magazine:

Catalisti @ TCI2019: Developing the formula for a sustainable chemical industry

The chemical industry and environmental efforts don’t mix. It’s a common misconception, while in fact, chemical products and technologies form a key building block for a sustainable future. Likewise, sustainability is increasingly becoming an elemental compound of the chemical industry.

Continue reading “Catalisti @ TCI2019: Developing the formula for a sustainable chemical industry”