EU ETS Innovation Fund Launches First Call

The EU Commission has launched a first project call in the framework of the EU ETS Innovation Fund. This fund supports innovation projects aiming to make Europe carbon-neutral. More project calls will follow between 2020 and 2030.

Last week, the EU Commission launched a first call within the framework of the EU ETS Innovation Fund. This call is technology-neutral, covers all eligible sectors, and specifically targets large-scale projects with capital expenditure above 7.5 million euro. In total, it sets aside no less than 1 billion euro in subsides. The call is open until 29 October 2020. More information about the fund and the first project call can be found at

Job Opportunities @ Arteco – OEM Support Engineer and Development Chemist

Arteco, a leading developer and manufacturer of quality antifreeze coolants and heat transfer fluids for automotive and industrial applications, is looking for an OEM Support Engineer and a Development Chemist.

OEM Support Engineer @ Arteco

As OEM Support Engineer, you are the main contact between external customers, R&D partners and the R&D department. From this role, you give input on future product needs and industry challenges responsible for coolant development trends.

Your responsabilities
  • You develop long-term technical relationships with industry driver OEMs by following up on their product and technical issues or questions, handling product line support and providing trainings. You secure and manage required approvals/licenses on existing formulations and formulation changes and arrange for the necessary laboratory or field-testing to obtain these approvals in a timely fashion.
  • You provide technical support and training to your colleagues from Sales and Marketing.
  • You participate in strategy development, knowledge sharing and cross-departmental communication.
  • You coordinate laboratory activities related to technical and field support by planning and initiating the projects, coordinating lab testing, reviewing and reporting to the internal stakeholders (Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing) on project status and documenting finalized projects.
  • You develop long-term technical relationships with industry Tier 1 suppliers.
  • You act as an ambassador for the Arteco values, Code of Conduct and policies.

Your profile
  • You hold a master or a PhD degree in Chemistry or have a bachelor degree with 10 years of experience in coolant development or related fields.
  • Ideally, you are a native speaker in French or have excellent knowledge. English is equally important. Any other languages are a plus.
  • We are looking for a strong communicator with good presentation skills for OEM and customer contacts.
  • Sound technical ability and in depth scientific knowledge are important assets, as well as creative and analytical skills.
  • Positive and constructive collaboration will lead to success in this position.

Arteco’s offer
Arteco offers you a challenging role in a growing and financially sound company. You will be working in an international environment with high quality and safety standards. You will join a dynamic team who values independent thinking and teamwork. Arteco believes people are key to their success, giving employees opportunities for personal development and growth. Arteco offers a competitive salary package, group insurance, health insurance, meal vouchers, a large vacation entitlement, the possibility to work from home 1 day per week…

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

Development Chemist @ Arteco

As Development Chemist, you manage the developments for our product portfolio. You are responsible for the additive package development as well as for product development in relation to coolants, heat transfer fluids and hot-test or running-in fluids. In addition to research and development, you will also have OEM and supplier contacts in support of the product range and upcoming product introductions.

Your responsabilities
  • You develop product formulations that meet market global, regional and/or key OEM requirements in alignment with the business plan.
  • You participate in the support of the Company’s worldwide coolants marketing and manufacturing activities to enable identification of future product needs and supplier intelligence.
  • You develop long-term technical relationships with industry driver partners.
  • You use your acquired skills to provide guidance and coaching to lab technicians and other colleagues. At a later stage, you give presentations and provide trainings.
  • You act as an ambassador for the Arteco values, Code of Conduct and policies.

Your profile
  • You hold a Master or PhD degree in Chemistry. A solid working experience in the field is desirable, but we also want to have a chat with ambitious graduates.
  • You are fluent in English (written and spoken). Knowledge of Dutch and German and presentation skills are assets for customer contacts.
  • Collaborating with other research team members, our sales teams and industry partners is your second nature.
  • You have strong and in depth scientific knowledge and good technical insights.
  • Your creative and analytical skills will lead to success in this position.

Arteco’s offer
Arteco offers you a challenging role in a growing and financially sound company. You will be working in an international environment with high quality and safety standards. You will join a dynamic team who values independent thinking and teamwork. Arteco believes people are key to their success, giving employees opportunities for personal development and growth. Arteco offers a competitive salary package, group insurance, health insurance, meal vouchers, a large vacation entitlement, the possibility to work from home 1 day per week…

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

Ontex bouwt capaciteit om jaarlijks 80 miljoen chirurgische mondmaskers te produceren

Ontex, de toonaangevende producent van persoonlijke hygiëne-artikelen uit Aalst, kondigt plannen aan om tegen september 2020 te starten met de productie van mondmaskers, met een capaciteit van ongeveer 80 miljoen IIR-type chirurgische mondmaskers per jaar. Bij het opzetten van deze productiecapaciteit werd Ontex ondersteund door de recent opgerichte werkgroep omtrent professionele mondmaskers, geïnitieerd door de Vlaamse Regering en gecoördineerd door Catalisti.

“We investeren in de productie van chirurgische mondmaskers ter ondersteuning van zorgverleners en andere essentiële werknemers”, aldus Annick De Poorter, Vice President van Ontex voor R&D, Kwaliteit en Duurzaamheid. “We willen de mensen helpen beschermen, ook de werknemers van Ontex, die de maatschappij draaiende houden door essentiële goederen en diensten te leveren.”

De chirurgische mondmaskers van het IIR-type, die gewoonlijk in ziekenhuizen worden gebruikt, zullen volgens de geldende voorschriften worden gemaakt op een productielijn in de fabriek van Ontex in Eeklo. Ontex heeft hiervoor een gespecialiseerd machinepark besteld en leidt het personeel op om zich te laten certificeren voor de productie. Zo kan in september, of vroeger, gestart worden met de eigenlijke productie van mondmaskers.

De nieuwe productie is een eigen initiatief van Ontex, ondersteund door de recent opgerichte werkgroep omtrent professionele mondmaskers waarin Catalisti een coördinerende rol speelt. De productiecapaciteit wordt uitgebouwd zonder overheidssubsidie.

Om zorgverleners en andere essentiële werknemers vóór september de mogelijkheid te bieden om gezichtsmaskers te kopen, biedt Ontex de lokale autoriteiten een rechtstreeks contact met een vertrouwde leverancier van mondmaskers, die het bedrijf ook zelf gebruikt. Ontex verleent deze bijstand in de mate van het mogelijke, aangezien sommige overheden strenge regels hebben waarbij alleen hun bevoegde overheden het recht hebben om de aanschaf van beschermingsmiddelen tegen COVID-19 te coördineren.

BlueChem has officially opened

Now the COVID-19 restrictions have partially been lifted, Catalisti has finally moved to BlueChem, the brand-new incubator for sustainable chemistry in Flanders. Besides Catalisti, several start-ups, growth companies and established companies within the Flemish chemical landscape will call BlueChem’s laboratories and offices home. In short, it’s set to become the ideal operating base for Catalisti to further accelerate innovation into business.

Despite the coronavirus throwing a spanner in the works for a while, BlueChem, the first Flemish incubator for sustainable chemistry, has now officially been opened. This official opening represents a new chapter for Catalisti, as we move out of our old office in the Antwerp Havenhuis and into our brand-new BlueChem office.

Besides Catalisti, the laboratories, offices and flexible working spaces at BlueChem will also house a series of start-ups, growth companies and established players within the Flemish chemical sector: from Vopak, Borealis, INEOS, ExxonMobil, BASF and Air Liquide to Arpadis, Creaflow, InOpSys, Calidris Bio, IBEVE, Peace of Meat and Triple Helix. BlueChem will provide these companies with specialized and tailored services to foster their business, through cooperation with BNP Paribas Fortis, Deloitte, SAS Institute and Port of Antwerp. This includes support in terms of financing, legal assistance, business development, and of course innovation. By choosing BlueChem as our operating base, Catalisti is perfectly positioned to help these companies accelerate innovation into business and to actively drive the sustainable chemistry of the future.

Moving to BlueChem also means saying goodbye to the Havenhuis in Antwerp, where we had our offices until a few weeks ago. Catalisti would like to thank Port of Antwerp and its employees for years of pleasant and fruitful cooperation.

Catalisti in de coronacrisis: coördinatie van lokale mondmaskerproductie

Op vraag van de Vlaamse Regering nemen Catalisti en haar algemeen directeur Jan Van Havenbergh een coördinerende rol op zich bij het uitbouwen en evalueren van de Vlaamse mondmaskerproductie. Doel is hierbij om duurzame lokale productie van professionele mondmaskers mogelijk te maken. Zo kan er op korte termijn een structurele oplossing uitgewerkt worden voor de zorg, én voor andere sectoren waar de nood aan maskers groot is.

Nood aan maskers, van wzc tot werf
Op dit moment hebben ziekenhuizen en woonzorgcentra nog steeds nood aan hoogwaardige mondmaskers, zowel de chirurgische als de zogenaamde FFP2- en FFP3-maskers. Deze professionele maskers zijn namelijk essentieel om dokters, verplegers en ander zorgpersoneel te beschermen in hun aanhoudende strijd tegen COVID-19. In het post-coronatijdperk zal gezichtsbescherming echter ook noodzakelijk zijn in andere sectoren, denk maar aan de bouw bijvoorbeeld. De vraag naar professionele maskers is met andere woorden groot. Het lokale aanbod is daarentegen beperkt.

Duurzame lokale productie
In een recent opgerichte werkgroep brengt Catalisti op dit moment bestaande mondmaskerinitiatieven in kaart. Dit gebeurt samen met het kabinet van minister Crevits, VLAIO, onderzoekscentrum Centexbel en doe- en durfbedrijf PMV. Er wordt daarbij vooral gekeken naar de concrete ambities, vooropgestelde tijdslijnen en eventuele hindernissen waarmee de verschillende initiatieven te maken krijgen. Bestaande en nieuwe concepten worden geëvalueerd, en dat zowel technisch als m.b.t. economische haalbaarheid. Daarnaast bekijkt de werkgroep of er nog voldoende strategische voorraden van de nodige grondstoffen zijn en of invoer van halffabricaten mogelijk is.

Al deze acties moeten de Vlaamse productiecapaciteit van mondmaskers stimuleren. Doel is daarbij om duurzame lokale productie van mondmaskers mogelijk te maken. Dit is meteen ook een opportuniteit om de afhankelijkheid van buitenlandse invoer te verminderen én op langere termijn een strategische Vlaamse voorraad aan professionele mondmaskers aan te leggen.

Verbindende rol
In Vlaanderen is uitzonderlijke expertise aanwezig op het vlak van chemieproductie (polyprolyleen), kunststofverwerking en hoogtechnologische textielproductie. Als speerpuntcluster voor de chemie- en kunststoffensector is Catalisti perfect geplaatst om die expertise te katalyseren. Catalisti speelt dan ook een verbindende rol door interacties tussen bedrijven, universiteiten en onderzoekscentra te faciliteren en actief op zoek te gaan naar bijkomende synergiën.

Kan u of uw bedrijf bijdragen aan de productie van FFP-maskers? Heeft uw bedrijf daarbij nood aan ondersteuning? Of wil u in dit verhaal een ander engagement opnemen? Neem dan contact op met Catalisti via Merten De Kinderen of

Update of BIG-Cluster Innovation Agenda

In a recently published report, the Bio Innovation Growth mega cluster (BIG-Cluster) uniting Flanders, the Netherlands and North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has announced it is updating its common innovation agenda to better tackle the challenges faced by the bioeconomy in Northwestern Europe.

EU’s chemical powerhouse
Flanders, the Netherlands and NRW have been a powerhouse of industrial innovation in the chemistry sector for decades. By leveraging institutional, infrastructural, macroeconomical and educational strenghts, this mega cluster in Northwestern Europe has become responsible for over half of the EU’s chemical turnover, substantially contributing to overall EU GDP.

Cross-border cooperation
To further strengthen this leading position, Catalisti and its cluster colleagues of BE-Basic in the Netherlands and CLIB in NRW established the BIG-Cluster in 2013. This cross-border cooperation initiative aims to transform Europe’s industrial mega cluster into the global leader of biobased innovation growth. Specifically, it seeks to improve regional competetiveness in the bioeconomy, safeguard jobs, and align the region with international sustainability goals.

Three key areas
In the past, the BIG-Cluster has identified three key areas for cross-border cooperation: “Aromatics and Fine Chemicals from Woody Biomass”, “Chemicals from CO and CO2” and “Aviation Fuels from Various Feedstocks”. These are all feedstock-to-product flagships that are of great importance to the European bioeconomy. Within these key areas, the goal of the mega cluster is to establish novel value chains, to comprehensively change feedstocks with a focus on regionally available biobased and sustainable raw materials, and to initiate demonstration plants for the production of chemicals and fuels based on sustainable resources, namely biomass and material streams from industrial waste gasses. To realize these objectives, industrial investments should be leveraged and combined with European and regional funds.

Update to common innovation agenda
According to the BIG-Cluster, an updated innovation agenda is necessary to better tackle the challenges faced by the bioeconomy in Northwestern Europe. In a recently published report, the BIG-Cluster summarizes topical developments in its three key areas of cooperation as a starting point for an updated common innovation agenda. For example, the report specifically references Catalisti’s BAFTA project and VITO’s LignoValue pilot project as enabling important innovations concerning lignocellulosic biomass. For more information on this updated agenda, please contact catalyst Tine Schaerlaekens, read the full report, or visit the BIG-Cluster website.

‘Protection for Heroes’ to produce up to 1.5M FFP2 masks per month

Starting this summer, the recently launched initiative ‘Bescherming voor Helden – Protection for Heroes’ seeks to produce up to 1.5 million FFP2 masks each month, here in Belgium. These masks will be vital in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Catalisti is supporting the initiative by facilitating interaction with companies and knowledge centres.

FFP2 masks are an essential asset in the fight against COVID-19. They help protect our heroes: from doctors and nurses to police officers, retail staff and other service workers. The technical complexity of producing these high-quality masks, however, puts them out of reach of the many voluntary mask producing initiatives that are currently popping up. This why eight professionals, led by Antoine Schockaert, are founding ‘The Fair Production Company’. Starting in the summer of 2020, this Belgian non-profit organisation aims to produce 1 to 1.5 million FFP2 masks per month under the banner ‘Bescherming voor Helden – Protection for Heroes’.

Local production
The ‘Bescherming voor Helden – Protection for Heroes’ initiative strongly believes in the viability of locally producing personal protection equipment (PPE) in Belgium in a sustainable, cost efficient and social way. The initiative has joined forces with a French entrepreneur, Mr. Vianny Brillat, who has over 15 years of experience in producing FFP2 masks, with 5 relevant patents registered in his name.

essenscia and Catalisti
In order to reach its ambitious production goals, ‘Bescherming voor Helden – Protection for Heroes’ receives active support from essenscia, the sector federation of the Belgian chemical and life sciences industries, as well as from Catalisti. Both organisations support the initiative by facilitating interaction with companies and knowledge centres.

Find out more about the initiative:

“De toegevoegde waarde van onze sector wordt nog te vaak onderbelicht” – Jan Van Havenbergh in FOKUS Chemie

“Onze relatie met chemie is dubbel: enerzijds zorgt de sector voor tal van producten die ons leven gemakkelijker maken, anderzijds is het een van de meest vervuilende industrieën. Tel daarbij nog eens op dat de chemische sector voor heel wat werkgelegenheid zorgt, en je krijgt een duurzame uitdaging om U tegen te zeggen.”

In een interview met FOKUS Chemie geeft Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director van Catalisti, zijn kijk op de innovatie-aanpak van Catalisti, het Moonshot-initiatief, én de reputatie van de chemie- en kunststoffensector. Meer weten? Lees dan gratis het interview met Jan Van Havenbergh in FOKUS Chemie, gepubliceerd op 16/03/2020, of klik hier om de volledige bijlage door te nemen.

Jan Van Havenbergh FOKUS Chemie 20200316

AmCham EU praises Plant on a Truck project

In a recently published report, the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU) has listed Catalisti’s Plant on a Truck project as one of 15 innovative industry solutions that drive a sustainable future.

Finding an innovative solution…
The production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) is a material-intensive activity, due to the volume of raw materials and chemicals used. In the past, these were difficult to discard. With Plant on a Truck, however, material loops can be closed and specific chemicals can be recycled in order to maintain their value. Specifically, Janssen Pharmaceutica uses the mobile plant, limited to three containers, to treat liquid waste streams from the production of canagliflozin (API of InvokanaTM) in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way. The plant enables extraction of the catalyst zinc and recycles it at a partnering metallurgy company, while the rest of the wastewater is treated at Janssen’s Geel site.

… to drive a sustainable future
By closing material loops through reuse and recycling, Plant on a Truck reduces manufacturing costs and avoids the production of waste. Indirect effects include reduced emissions of CO2 and road transport. Further assessments of Plant on a Truck are looking at treating additional waste streams, such as waste layers remaining from the production of abiraterone (API of Zytiga®).

To discover the other innovative solutions listed by AmCham EU, please read AmCham EU’s full report.