Chemie als bakermat voor een betere wereld

De chemiesector speelt een cruciale rol in de verduurzaming van onze samenleving. Om de Europese klimaatdoelstellingen van 2030 en 2050 te halen, investeert de sector intensief in duurzame technologieën, processen en producten. Ook de overheid draagt haar steentje bij, bijvoorbeeld via het baanbrekende Moonshot-initiatief dat bedrijven helpt om hun CO2-uitstoot drastisch terug te dringen tegen 2050.

Een mooi overzicht van de indrukwekkende klimaatinspanningen die bedrijven, overheden en andere stakeholders uit de sector leveren vindt u in de bijlage “Duurzame Chemie” in De Standaard. Aan bod komen onder meer Moonshot-Manager Jan Van Havenbergh en BlueChem’s Leentje Croes, met verder ook inspirerende artikels over innovatieve Catalisti-leden als Eastman, B4Plastics, InOpSys, INEOS en Alco Bio Fuel, opinies door essenscia en VITO, en nog zoveel meer!

Ontdek de volledige bijlage “Duurzame Chemie” in De Standaard van 30 april 2021 of surf naar de website van Mediaplanet.

Moonshot mikt op elektrificatie van chemiefabrieken

“Als je iets aan de CO2-uitstoot van de Vlaamse chemiesector wil veranderen, dan moeten kraakinstallaties een van de eerste aandachtspunten zijn”.

In een interview in De Tijd geven o.a. catalyst Luc Van Ginneken en Total’s Walter Vermeiren hun kijk op de elektrificatie van chemische processen en krakers, en dat bijvoorbeeld via het Moonshot-project P2O. Lees het volledige artikel op de website van De Tijd, of klik op de afbeelding hieronder.

VLAIO werft aan: Accountmanager Moonshot

Wil jij meewerken aan een innovatieve en duurzame Vlaamse industrie? Heb je een goede kennis van chemische processen en hun rol in de klimaattransitie? Solliciteer dan als Accountmanager voor Moonshot bij het Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (VLAIO) en misschien word jij onze nieuwe collega!

Als Moonshot-accountmanager bij VLAIO sta je in voor de sturing en opvolging van het Moonshot-initiatief. Je legt relaties, zoekt verbanden en start innovatieve samenwerkingen tussen bedrijven, universiteiten en kennisinstellingen op. Je bent daarbij de brug tussen bedrijven en kennisinstellingen. Je vormt het eerste aanspreekpunt voor VLAIO en externe actoren. Ook ben je nauw betrokken bij concrete onderzoeks- en innovatieprojecten binnen Moonshot, zowel bij het tot stand komen van de projecten als bij hun evaluatie.

Meer info

Klaar om de klimaattransitie van de Vlaamse industrie te ondersteunen? Check dan zeker de VLAIO-website voor meer informatie over de jobinhoud, de vele voordelen die VLAIO biedt, en de sollicitatieprocedure.

Het Moonshot-team binnen Catalisti kijkt er alvast naar uit om samen met jou aan de slag te gaan!

Waarom bij VLAIO werken?

Een wereld zonder chemie bestaat niet

“Een wereld zonder chemie bestaat niet … Ook tijdens de coronacrisis zijn de langetermijnprojecten van onze sector blijven doorlopen. Een goed voorbeeld hiervan zijn de Moonshot-onderzoeken van Catalisti,” vertelt Jan Remeysen, CEO van BASF Antwerpen, in het voorwoord van de nieuwste editie van FOKUS Chemie.

Naast Jan Remeysen benadrukt ook Frederik Van Eetvelde van Antea Group het belang van Moonshot voor het verminderen van de industriële CO2-uitstoot in Vlaanderen. And there’s more… Ook Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director van Catalisti, komt in de nieuwe editie van FOKUS Chemie aan het woord!

Meer weten? Lees dan gratis de volledige bijlage van FOKUS Chemie.

Forum Startup Chemie boosts your business

Forum Startup Chemie boosts your business by strengthening the innovative power of the chemical industry and promoting the growth of start-ups. All Flemish start-ups in chemistry and plastics can join this open platform.

Forum Startup Chemie

What’s Forum Startup Chemie?

This brand-new, Germany-based partnering platform initiated by VCI is an open forum that seeks to support young ventures, starting from the first business idea up to market success. Their objective is to contribute to a significant increase in the number of innovative chemical start-ups and to improve their success.

What’s in it for your business?

Start-ups who join the forum have easy access to other start-ups, established companies, infrastructure, information and investors. The forum, among others, maps support options for start-ups and includes a database of potential partners.

Focus

The forum focusses on chemistry and related fields such as industrial biotechnology, bio-economy, and process engineering.

Boost your business

More information about the platform can be found on https://forum-startup-chemie.de/. Flemish start-ups in chemistry and plastics can join the platform by submitting a short profile! For all questions regarding the forum, please contact essenscia’s Edith Coune (edith.coune@gmail.com or +32 475 90 15 10).

Join the Multi2Recycle Advisory Board

Circular food packaging remains high on the agenda, with both European and Belgian authorities setting ambitious recycling targets. In line with our innovation programme on Circularity and Resource Efficiency, Catalisti continues to focus on sustainable food packaging that enables both optimal product protection and maximal circularity, for example through the Multi2Recycle project. Sorting and recycling companies are invited to join the Advisory Board of this project.

Multi2Recycle

In the intercluster COOCK project proposal Multi2Recycle, we join forces with Flanders’ FOOD, Pack4Food, UHasselt and VKC-Centexbel to work on the future of circular food packaging. Specifically, this project will seek to answer the following question:

“How can a multilayer plastic food packaging be recyclable and, at the same time, have the optimal barrier properties to ensure the shelf-life of food products?”

Goal of the project is to develop ‘Design for Recycling’ guidelines for multilayer plastic food packaging, incorporating both recyclability and optimal barrier properties. The maximal acceptable concentration of a certain type of barrier material (e.g. metallisation, EVOH) will be defined in function of the packaging recyclability. Afterwards, we will investigate how this translates into the shelf-life of the food product. In addition, the packaging recyclability will be validated on the level of the sorting and recycling sector.

Join us!

Industrial input and participation is crucial for reaching the project goals. Therefore, Catalisti and its partners are looking for sorting and recycling companies that wish to participate in the Multi2Recycle Advisory Board. Is your company interested in this project and its goals? Make sure to contact catalyst Wannes Libbrecht (wlibbrecht@catalisti.be; +32 499 315 604) for more information or check out a more detailed project description.

Ann Verlinden to become new Managing Director

After a thorough selection procedure, the Catalisti Board of Directors has appointed Ann Verlinden, the current CEO of Belcare, as the spearhead cluster’s new Managing Director. She will succeed Jan Van Havenbergh as of 5 April 2021.

Background in science and industry

With her strong scientific and industrial background, Ann’s profile perfectly matches her new role. Ann graduated at KU Leuven as a civil engineer in chemistry with a specialisation in environmental technology. She obtained her PhD at the University of Leeds-Bradford, where she focused on powder technology.

During her career, Ann has worked for companies, knowledge institutes and governments. She started at Exxon Chemical in Diegem, where she worked on membrane technology. She then joined BASF Antwerp as project manager of sustainable investment projects, production manager of the ammonia plant and innovation coach. In 2010, Ann switched to KH Leuven and subsequently to Innovatiecentrum Limburg. There, she supported companies across all sectors with (inter)national innovation projects and increasingly focused on innovation in the construction sector. In 2015, she became CEO of Belcare, which initiates and facilitates open innovation and transformation projects in the construction sector, with an emphasis on sustainability and circular construction.


A positive vision

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to initiate and carry out numerous sustainable innovation projects in multidisciplinary teams,” says Verlinden. “I did so within various sectors, always tailored to the specific knowledge institute, government, construction SME or chemical company. Time and again, I was amazed by the expertise Flanders has on offer and by the innovative power brought by multidisciplinary cooperation.”

“I am excited to work with the Catalisti team and all its partners to create positive collaborations and to realise sustainable innovations that accelerate the climate transition of the chemical and plastics sector”.

A bright future

For Wouter De Geest, chairman of Catalisti, the future looks bright: “With Ann at the helm, Catalisti’s successful track record will be continued in the coming years. Her drive and vigour will allow the spearhead cluster to further prepare and ensure the sustainable future of our sector. I wish Ann all the best in leading the dynamic Catalisti team.”

Jan Van Havenbergh to stay on as Moonshot manager

Jan Van Havenbergh will remain manager of Moonshot. This Flemish government initiative supports companies in reducing their CO2 emissions and is hosted by Catalisti. “Innovation remains a topic close to my heart. In this position, I will continue to focus on the climate transition of our industry and in particular on the connection between disruptive innovation and business implementation,” says Van Havenbergh.

“On behalf of the entire Catalisti team,” concludes chairman De Geest, “I wish to thank Jan for his enthusiasm and years of commitment. I am delighted that he will continue his role within Moonshot.”

Download the full press release (in Dutch) and check out Ann’s extended bio on her LinkedIn page.

BEL-COO replaces BEL-SME programme

VLAIO, SPW Recherche and Innoviris have replaced the BEL-SME financing programme with BEL-COO. This new programme is open to both SMEs as well as large enterprises, and allows for both research and development projects.

What?

BEL-COO is a financing programme focused on Belgian enterprises aiming to execute a joint R&D project with enterprises from other Belgian regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels). The duration of a BEL-COO project must be between 12 and 36 months.

BEL-COO replaces and extends the BEL-SME programme. BEL-SME was restricted to development projects and was only eligible for SMEs. BEL-COO is eligible for both SMEs and large enterprises and allows both research and development projects.

Consortium requirements

The project consortium should consist of at least two enterprises from two different Belgian regions. Research institutes can participate as a subcontractor or research partner. They cannot, however, participate as a direct contractor.

Contact

For more information about the new programme, please contact catalyst Johan De Houwer (jdehouwer@catalisti.be) or visit the VLAIO website.

ValBran

The interregional ValBran project focussed on enhancing the value of wheat bran, an agricultural co-product derived from flour mills and biorefineries that is mainly used for animal feed. The project finished in December 2020. Scroll down to learn more, or read the end report.


Ambition

Starting from the carbohydrates of wheat bran, ValBran aimed to develop biotechnological and green chemistry pathways for the sustainable production of high added-value surfactant molecules, as a substitute for oil-based molecules. The plant-based molecules were required to respect four conditions: have a lower cost than the oil-based equivalent, have at least equivalent properties to those of the oil-based equivalent, do not compete with food, and have minimal environmental impact. Targeted applications were detergency, cosmetics, phytosanitary agents and food additives.

A second ambition consisted of strengthening the cross-border cooperation between the bio-economy sectors of northern France, Wallonia and Flanders. This aim was reflected in the broad project consortium, which included partners from all three regions.

Research

Specifically, the project focussed on two categories of surfactants: alkylpolyglycosides (APG) and sugar esters. Its approach consisted of developing several laboratory-scale processes and the selecting the most promising process for pilot-scale transfer. This was followed by an economic and environmental analysis of the developed process(es).

Results

The project lasted 4 years and finished in December 2020. It has shown that wheat bran has great potential for the sustainable production of surfactants. It proved possible to produce biological surfactants with interesting properties via enzymatic technologies. Yet, the production cost of the biological surfactants remains an issue, as it is higher than the cost for producing oil-based surfactants. Tests at pilot scale will have to be carried out to demonstrate the economic viability of the processes.

Learn more about the project results by reading the the end report.

Project Details

Project type: INTERREG
Duration: 31/12/2016 – 31/12/2020
Total budget: €1.745.826
Subsidy: €872.913
Website: www.valbran.eu

Project Partners