Launch of the Brightlands Materials Center

TNO and the Province of Limburg have opened a new international research and development center to further untap the potential of polymeric materials at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands. Partners will invest 45 million euros in the new center over a period of five years.

The Brightlands Materials Center will bring top scientists and industry professionals together to develop sustainable, breakthrough materials and application technologies that will change the market.

The Brightlands Materials Center is an important strategic step in further developing the most innovative international materials knowledge area worldwide in the South of the Netherlands. There is fast-growing interest in partnering with the Brightlands Materials Center. Eighteen* companies and organizations have already expressed their intention to collaborate or to explore collaboration.

The Brightlands Materials Center is a public-private initiative within the scope of the Topsector Chemistry. In the new center, both the Soft Materials Roadmap of the Topsector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) and the Advanced Materials Roadmap of the Topsector Chemistry will be connected by sharing key competences and networks, which will fuel shared innovation between the two Topsectors.

Shared Knowledge and Research Programs
The center will meet the challenges of the 21st century by applying scientific knowledge to industrial and societal needs. Top scientists and industry professionals will work together with PhD and Master students in joint research programs in the field of sustainable packaging, lightweight automotive, smart polymer-based opto-electronics, additive manufacturing and recycling. The Additive Manufacturing program will start with sixteen PhDs and three scientists to explore the materials challenges in industrial and biomedical 3D-printing applications.

Our community: Inspiring Innovations in Plastics
The Brightlands Materials Center offers a neutral meeting platform, an international industrial network and high-tech infrastructure with ample opportunities for the valorization of developed knowledge and innovative ideas in plastics. By combining the technologies of partners and through collaborations along the whole value chain the Brightlands Materials Center will speed up time-to-market. The Brightlands Materials Center will be an open and evolving community, inviting students, entrepreneurs, universities, companies and other knowledge organizations to join.

Governance
The Steering Board of the new center will consist of representatives of TNO and Chemelot Scientific Participations, representing the Province of Limburg. Marnix van Gurp and René Corbeij have been appointed managing directors of the new center.

Jos Keurentjes, Chief Scientific Officer of TNO:
“We’re proud to present the Brightlands Materials Center, a Brightlands Chemelot Campus – TNO partnership, supported by the Province of Limburg. We aim to boost performance and sustainability in the fields of automotive, energy and electronics by developing new materials and applications. Substantial research programs in partnerships like these are at the core of TNO’s strategy. I’m very excited about this initiative and I’m confident it will attract new partners and researchers to create a real boost in the field of polymeric materials.”

Twan Beurskens, Regional Minister of Economic Affairs for the Province of Limburg is very pleased:
“I’m proud that another excellent research institute wants to become a part of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus community. This institute is an important step in further strengthening the Brightlands concept and proof that the Brightlands Chemelot Campus is really the place to be. The knowledge economy in the Province of Limburg is growing fast!”

Bert Kip, CEO Brightlands Chemelot Campus:
“The start of the Brightlands Materials Center is a milestone in realizing the ambition of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus: to be a world-leading innovation location and home to a vibrant and fast-growing open community of groundbreaking companies and knowledge institutes. The Brightlands Materials Center, with its focus on application knowledge of plastic products, will connect top universities with industry leaders, SMEs and start-ups in the region and around the world. This will fuel our community with knowledge, talent and entrepreneurship, which will further accelerate the growth of Brightlands”.