Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

National research centre for chemical building blocks

Joint investment by government, businesses and universities
07 December 2015
Logo CBBC

AkzoNobel, BASF, Shell, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Top Sector Chemistry, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Utrecht University, the Eindhoven University of Technology and Groningen University today presented their plans for setting up the new Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC). This national research centre will 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 EUR 11 million a year, or 80 - 100 jobs in the knowledge industry. “This will also reinforce our competitive position,” Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp points out. “It will promote economic growth and generate new jobs.”

The United Nations predicts that the world population will reach about 9 billion by 2050. The population growth will place a heavy strain on the supply of raw materials, such as oil and metals, 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.

Industrial and academic strengths

The ARC CBBC brings together the industrial and academic strengths available in the Netherlands in the field of c atalysis, synthesis, macromolecular chemistry and process technology, therefore connecting various areas of interdisciplinary expertise at Dutch knowledge institutions with each other and with trade and industry at a national level. 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.

Sustainable production methods

The ever-growing global population creates a major challenge for the world: to find a sustainable solution to the depletion of resources while at the same time continuing to meet the demand for production materials.

The improvement of existing products and production processes and the development of innovative alternatives can contribute to the transition to a circular economy, in which products and materials are recycled and raw materials retain their value. The ARC CBBC will focus on the chemical building blocks for producing the energy carriers, coatings and materials of the future. Will the sun and wind be the driving forces behind tomorrow’s chemistry? Is CO2 not a threat, but in fact a source of new possibilities? What possibilities for making existing and new building blocks will be opened by sustainable production methods? “New chemical processes enable us to use water and energy more efficiently,” Minister Kamp explained. “We can increase food productivity, reduce the mountain of waste and spare the climate. Promising research is being carried out into the use of CO2 as a resource for the production of new materials.”

Internationally trend-setting infrastructure

The ARC CBBC is a national research centre that continues to build on expertise within the “Gravitation” programmes financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. With the ARC CBBC, the partners are contributing to an internationally trend-setting infrastructure for research and innovation in the Netherlands, which will attract top talent from all over the world. The partners will provide further details at the beginning of 2016 on the scale and the specific contributions of the parties involved in this ambitious public-private partnership.

Integrated approach

The integrated approach to research issues in these programmes, from the atomic, molecular and macromolecular scale via supramolecular structures to the reactor scale, will be expanded in the ARC CBBC in order to tackle challenges on different time and dimensional scales simultaneously. Linking pioneering science with complex industrial issues can lead to the breakthroughs that are needed to sustainably meet demand for energy and materials in the future.

Last modified:03 November 2017 12.42 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 20 May 2019

    Forthcoming honorary doctor Titia de Lange: Splicing ropes and aging

    Titia de Lange has dedicated most of her working life to researching long telomeres – the ends of chromosomes. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in June for her ground-breaking research. De Lange’s first experiment as a PhD student, under the supervision...

  • 17 May 2019

    "Worms man" Dr. Jeroen Onrust wins Science Prize Campus Fryslân 2019

    Bioloog Jeroen Onrust mag zich de winnaar noemen van de Wetenschapsprijs Campus Fryslân 2019. Onrust onderzocht voor zijn promotieonderzoek bij Rijksuniversiteit Groningen/Campus Fryslân het belang van regenwormen op de vruchtbaarheid van agrarisch...

  • 16 May 2019

    Grote spiraalstelsels maken zeer efficiënt sterren

    Grote spiraalstelsels, zoals onze naaste buur de Andromedanevel, laten bijna geen gas- of stofdeeltjes onbenut bij het vormen van sterren. Dat hebben Nederlandse astronomen berekend aan de hand van de draaisnelheden van ruim honderd nabije stelsels...