AkzoNobel and BASF part of Dutch consortium tackling raw material depletion

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

AkzoNobel and BASF part of Dutch consortium tackling raw material depletion

Related tags: Research, Material, Netherlands

Ingredient suppliers AkzoNobel and BASF are part of a major Dutch consortium which has announced plans to establish a national research centre focused on tackling important energy and chemistry issues associated with the growing depletion of the finite supply of raw materials.

The two companies, who both produce ingredients to the cosmetics industry among others, have teamed up with Shell, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Top Sector Chemistry, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Utrecht University, the Eindhoven University of Technology, and Groningen University as part of the new Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC).

The intention is to combine the group’s knowledge and expertise to find ways to sustainably meet demand for energy and materials in the future, and tackle important energy and chemistry issues associated with the growing depletion of the finite supply of raw materials.

The partners have made a commitment for several years and are aiming to jointly invest €11 million a year, or 80 - 100 jobs in the knowledge industry.

“This will also reinforce our competitive position,”​ says Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp. “It will promote economic growth and generate new jobs.”

Growing population, growing issue

The United Nations predicts that the world population will reach about 9 billion by 2050 and that this will place a heavy strain on the supply of raw materials, and will constitute a challenge for sustainability and for the quality of life in urban areas, where an estimated 70% of the world population will live.

Finding solutions is a major challenge, requiring pioneering multidisciplinary research and new partnerships. The government, universities and trade and industry are therefore joining forces in the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium.

The ARC CBBC brings together the industrial and academic strengths available in the Netherlands in the field of catalysis, synthesis, macromolecular chemistry and process technology.

Top academic researchers in various fields of expertise will work closely with trade and industry in this new research centre on sustainable solutions for the medium and long term, such as new chemical processes and building blocks for functional materials, coatings and energy carriers.

The parties will not only operate bilaterally, but will also work jointly on innovation in an open partnership.

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