Atmospheric Plasma as Green Solution for Enhanced Adhesion and Functionalization

The PlasmaSol project will develop more innovative and sustainable adhesion and functionalization technologies for various materials through atmospheric plasma.

In the past, durable adhesion on a broad range of substrates has been achieved using conventional wet chemical surface treatments. These wet chemical surface treatments come with several ecological and health – related issues. It is well-known that solvent-based technologies are hazardous and highly flammable. However, also water-based processes, although being a safer alternative for solvent-based processes, come with ecological disadvantages. As such, a vast amount of waste water is generated, whereas the need for an additional drying step leads to a high energy consumption. Within the aim of reducing energy and (hazardous) chemical usage, atmospheric plasma technology is proposed as an eco-friendly alternative for surface activation and modification, while offering properties that are not always within the reach of conventional processes. Meanwhile, conventional process steps (i.e. cleaning steps, primer application) can be eliminated leading to reduced process time and energy- and chemical usage. This project focusses on plasma functionalization as a promising technology to improve adhesion, anti-bacterial and flame-retarding properties.

This project focusses on retrieving fundamental physical and chemical insights in plasma polymerisation and modification mechanisms as well as modelling of the plasma process. Considering its applicability in industrially relevant environments, the plasma reactor design will be optimized to obtain homogeneously deposited functionalized coatings. Furthermore, efforts will be taken to automize this new technology to make it industrially viable for a broad range of applications.

From Innovation to Business
With a broad range of industrial partners working together throughout the value chain and new fundamental insights and innovations in atmospheric plasma from the knowledge institutions, the PlasmaSol partners will maximize the potential to discover new industrial applications. This project is expected to finish in 2022. Project results will be announced on this page shortly afterwards.

Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 24/10/2019
Duration: 01/11/2019 – 31/10/2022
Total budget: €3.371.978
Subsidy: €2.325.748
Project Partners

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:


Assessment of Microbial Protein Sources for Food and Feed

The goal of Prometheus, an intercluster project in collaboration with Flanders’ FOOD, is to deliver the proof-of-concept that microbial protein-rich biomass and by-products from citric acid production are fit for use as high-quality proteins in feed and food.

More information about this project will soon be provided on this page.

Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 12/12/2019
Duration: 1/03/2020 – 30/03/2022
Total budget: €1.880.692
Subsidy: €1.316.313
Project Partners


Controlled Release, Uptake and Enhanced (Bio-)Availability of Active Ingredients in Ruminant Feed and Fertilizers by Encapsulation

The Encaps2Control project sets out to develop a new and sustainable encapsulation technology for the controlled release of active ingredients in animal feed and organic fertilizers. This technology is based on biopolymers from renewable resources.

More information about this project will soon be provided on this page.

Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 12/12/2019
Duration: 31/12/2019 – 30/12/2022
Total budget: €3.698.711
Subsidy: €2.539.348
Project Partners

EnzymASE 2

Enzymes for Added Sustainability and Efficiency

Building on the previous Catalisti project EnzymASE, EnzymASE 2 seeks to create environmentally friendly processes to produce chemical products with the help of enzymes. This should lead to new and improved products, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.

More information about this project will soon be provided on this page.

Project Details
Project type: ICON
Approved on: 12/12/2019
Duration: 30/06/2019 – 29/06/2022
Total budget: €1.769.357
Subsidy: €1.285.041
Project Partners

Catalisti werkt mee aan voedselverpakking van de toekomst

Op 6 december presenteerden Pack4Food en de Vlaamse speerpuntclusters Catalisti, Flanders’ FOOD, VIL en SIM de Roadmap ‘Voedselverpakking van de Toekomst’. Deze roadmap zet een gemeenschappelijke visie en strategie om de komende jaren projecten op te starten rond duurzame verpakkingen. De betrokken speerpuntclusters focussen daarbij op drie domeinen: meer circulaire verpakkingen, intelligente verpakkingen en logistieke processen.

Voedingsbedrijven gebruiken verpakkingen om hun producten te beschermen, te bewaren en erover te communiceren. Bovendien helpen verpakkingen om voedselverlies te vermijden. Toch zijn er ook uitdagingen met betrekking tot de ecologische impact van voedingsverpakkingen. De roadmap ‘Voedselverpakking van de Toekomst’ onderzoekt hoe deze uitdagingen in drie concrete domeinen kunnen worden aangepakt. Intensieve samenwerking tussen alle relevante sectoren garandeert dat de hieraan gekoppelde innovatieprojecten breedgedragen zijn.

Circulaire verpakkingen
“De uitdaging is om de kwaliteit en veiligheid van voedingsproducten te garanderen en voedselverlies tegen te gaan met zo weinig mogelijk verpakkingen,” aldus Inge Arents, managing director van Flanders’ FOOD. “Ecodesign wordt de norm: van bij het ontwerp mikken op herbruikbare of recycleerbare verpakkingen. Dat kan alleen door samen te werken met alle betrokken sectoren. Koppel dat aan sorteer- en recyclageprocessen die verpakkingen zo effectief mogelijk recycleren en je krijgt circulaire verpakkingen.”

Slimmere verpakkingen
Verpakkingen zullen producten beter traceerbaar moeten maken en consumenten sneller en eenvoudiger informeren over de kwaliteit en voedselveiligheid van het product. Daarom wil de Roadmap ook inzetten op actieve, intelligente (A&I) en gepersonaliseerde verpakkingen. “Met nieuwe, slimmere verpakkingen kunnen we voedselverlies en -verspilling vermijden en de totale ecologische voetafdruk van voedingsproducten verkleinen,” zegt Hedwige Verherbrugghen, projectmanager bij Pack4Food. “Slimme technologieën inzetten in voedingsverpakkingen klinkt misschien als sciencefiction, maar er zit heel wat potentieel in en er zijn vandaag al enkele toepassingen op de markt. Denk maar aan een speciale bedrukking van verpakkingen bv. een QR code, die kan uitgelezen worden met een app op jouw smartphone en je zo informatie geeft over bv. de origine van het voedingsproduct of bij welke fractie je de verpakking moet sorteren. Of denk maar aan kleine sensoren in verpakking die continu de temperatuur en vochtigheid opmeten van voedselverpakkingen tijdens het transport en deze in real-time communiceren, zowel naar leverancier als naar klant.”

Logistieke processen
Zonder de juiste afstemming van de logistieke processen doorheen de voedingsverpakkingsketen hebben circulaire en slimmere verpakkingen weinig zin. De Roadmap wil daarom nieuwe logistieke behoeften in kaart brengen en digitale verpakkingsplatformen stimuleren. “Digitalisatie biedt heel wat mogelijkheden om tussen alle schakels van de keten efficiënter informatie te delen en de logistieke processen beter op elkaar af te stemmen. Dat is absoluut noodzakelijk om ervoor te zorgen dat ecodesign ook resulteert in eco-impact op het einde van de rit,” zegt Eric Verlinden, manager transitie domeinen van VIL. “Die logistiek gaat steeds vaker tot aan de voordeur van de consument, via bijvoorbeeld e-commerce. Dat biedt nieuwe mogelijkheden maar ook extra uitdagingen. Met de Roadmap willen we de komende jaren antwoorden formuleren op die ontwikkelingen.”

Naast Pack4Food en vier speerpuntclusters, wordt de veelbelovende roadmap ook ondersteund door het Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (VLAIO) en door allerlei bedrijven uit de hele waardeketen.

Dit nieuwsbericht is gebaseerd op een artikel van Flanders’ FOOD, gepubliceerd op 06/12/2019 op

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:

INCITE builds on Catalisti project Lipametics

The INCITE project has officially been launched. This 4-year project, coordinated by Oleon and primarily funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, seeks to bring about a transition to a more flexible and sustainable chemistry. It does so by building on technology developed in the context of Catalisti’s Lipametics project.

On 17 October 2019, the INCITE project was kicked-off in Brussels. This ambitious multi-stakeholder project, formally titled Innovative Chemoenzymatic Integrated Processes, brings together European partners in a cross-border consortium: three universities and research organisations (VITO, Belgium; Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany; and University of Ghent, Belgium), two SMEs (BICT, Italy; and Bio-P, Italy), two large industrial players (Oleon, Belgium; and Endura, Italy) and an innovation cluster (IAR, the French bioeconomy cluster).

The goal of the INCITE project is to prove at an industrial scale that chemoenzymatic processes have clear environmental gains, are cost-effective and can contribute to increase safety in the work environment. It does so by building on technology developed within the framework of Catalisti’s Lipametics project. The project will base its demonstration on two chemoenzymatic processes using hydrolases, one being the esterase-catalysed of an important precursor in the production of insecticides, and the other being the solvent-free synthesis of oleochemical esters using lipase enzymes. The target products include commodities and fine chiral chemicals for crop protection, agrochemicals, public health, feed/food and cosmetics.

Once demonstrated, these processes will have a significant potential for increasing product quality while reducing both costs and environmental footprint, with a more targeted production at lower temperatures and fewer and less hazardous effluents than in currently utilized conventional chemical synthesis processes” – dr. Yann Raoul, project coordinator at Oleon

In the course of the project, processes will be demonstrated in real industrial settings and both cases should have clear advantages of greater efficiency, higher product quality, higher safety and a smaller environmental footprint. The project estimates reaching a minimum of 20% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a minimum of 40% resource and energy efficiency gains compared to traditional chemical synthesis and will demonstrate this assumption using state of the art Life Cycle Assessment methods.

The project will run for 4 years and has a budget of 17 million EUR, roughly 80% of which is financed by the EU under the umbrella of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

This piece is based on a press release published on 29/10/2019 by IAR, the French bioeconomy cluster. For more information about the INCITE project, please visit and

Newsletter October 2019

Newsflash! The Catalisti Newsletter for October 2019 is out.

This issue features an interview with managing director Jan Van Havenbergh and catalyst Luc Van Ginneken in NPT Magazine, a rundown of some massive investments in the Flemish chemical industry, an invitation for the Catalisti Annual Event 2019, and so much more. Read our newsletter here:, or click on the image below.

Some recipients of this newsletter experienced problems with several links in the email. These issues have been resolved in the online edition you can find below. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Catalisti Newsletter October 2019

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: