Almost halfway through the calendar year, it’s time for a brief review of the developments at Brightlands Chemelot Campus – developments that help to realize the ambitions: 2,900 jobs and 1,000 students in 2023 (now over 1,500 respectively 300).
The list of initiatives starts with the major projects at the campus in 2014.
1. Building 24 come into operation
Early 2014, Building 24, the former workshop, came into operation as campus restaurant, and now serves as the center of the campus.
2. Chemelot InSciTe
In February 2014, the Limburg Provincial Parliament agreed with three structural economic measures that relate to the campus. First, the foundation of the Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe), for research into bio-based and biomedical materials.
3. Brightlands Materials Center
The second structural economic measure of the province concerns the foundation of what has developed into Brightlands Materials Center, for research into polymer materials.
And talking about research institutes: (already since 2013) the campus is home to the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM), for research into bio-based materials.
5. Pilot and Mini Plant Facilities
The third structural economic measure concerns Pilot and Mini Plant Facilities. Chemelot InSciTe (nr. 2) will be one of the users of these facilities, of which a modern raw materials treatment facility will be a crucial part.
In 2014, PharmaCell, a company located in Maastricht, took over the manufacturing facility at the campus from the Belgian company TiGenix. Earlier, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the cleanrooms in this facility the cGMP label. Under this demanding label PharmaCell is now allowed to produce ChondroCelect for TiGenix, a cell therapy product that regenerates cartilage in the knee from autologous cartilage cells.
More information about ChondroCelect: http://www.tigenix.com/en/page/150/chondrocelect
7. Maastricht Science Programme
In September 2014, a new cohort of first-year students started the bachelor education at the Maastricht Science Programme of Maastricht University. Part of this education in sciences is carried out at the campus. Additionally, there are the CHILL students (Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs), who bring the total number of students at the campus to about 300; quite a few of them come from abroad.
8. Additive Manufacturing Materials Center
In 2014, a center was founded for research into the materials that are used for 3D printing on an industrial scale (which is called additive manufacturing). Much is known already about this production method, but there’s much room for improvement when it comes to the materials that are used.
9. DSM Materials Center
Last November 17, the DSM Materials Center, the new housing for approx. 400 DSM Engineering Plastics employees, was officially opened by Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs.
10. New campus companies
Besides PharmaCell new companies came to the campus in 2014: Matisse, GF Biochemicals, Xplore and Da Vinci. Matisse is a spin-off of the campus company Basic Pharma, bringing to the market a drug for sepsis, which was developed by Maastricht University; sepsis is a major cause of death in intensive care. GF Biochemicals produces levulinic acid, a versatile building block for bio-based materials. Xplore makes equipment for processing and testing plastics at laboratory scale (tabletop models), including extrusion machines; in 2014, the company was demerged by DSM. Da Vinci Laboratory Solutions provides services for analytical equipment, including gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers.
Moreover, several service providers created the so-called Service Boulevard.
The campus organization succeeded in improving its financial position with 150 million euros for the further development of the campus, especially real estate. These resources were provided by the shareholders, particularly the Province of Limburg, and banks.
12. Chemelot Ventures
In 2014, the venture capital fund Chemelot Ventures was established, amounting 40 million euros. Through this organization start-up companies can be funded.
More information: www.chemelotventures.com
Which brings us to the 2015 projects.
13. Center Court
Last February, the construction was started of Center Court, the central meeting, education and research center for the campus. The building provides housing for CHILL, Maastricht Science Programme and DSM Innovation Center. It was designed by Ector Hoogstad Architects and is built by BAM; the investment amounts to approx. 35 million euros. In the summer of 2016, the building will be brought into use.
14. Building 130
Building 130 – the building designation at the campus is somewhat archaic and cryptic; you really belong the campus community when you know which building is meant – will be renovated and expanded for SABIC’s Global Compounding Center. This building became available after DSM moved to its new Materials Center (nr. 9).
15. Starters facility
The buildings of the former Central Laboratories – parts of Buildings 1 and 4 – will be adapted to accommodate start-up companies.
During 2015, some buildings will be demolished to make room for new buildings, infrastructure and facilities. These are buildings that cannot be made suitable for re-use. Building 8 will be the first one to be demolished.
17. Pilot plant Avantium
The company Avantium from Amsterdam will build a pilot plant at the campus. It concerns the extension/replacement of an existing pilot facility, in which the bio-based product YXY is made that can for example be used for packaging, such as soda bottles. This project follows on the Pilot and Mini Plant Facilities (nr. 5).
18. Pilot plant Technoforce
The Indian company Technoforce will also build a pilot plant, next to Avantium, in which various set-ups with separation technology will be placed. Here customers can make the right choice of technology.
Artist impression Pilot Plant Facilities
19. Pilot Plant Sappi
Global pulp and paper producer Sappi builds a pilot plant at the campus, in which a novel process to manufacture nanocellulose, which was invented by Sappi and Edinburgh Napier University, will be upscaled. This product has a wide range of applications, including packaging, touch screen displays, automotive, paint, foods, concrete and even wound care.
20. Biomedical cleanroom facilities
The PharmaCell production facility (nr. 6) will be expanded with cleanrooms for the production of biomedical materials; in the existing building there’s still room.
21. 3D printers
3D printers for industrial production will be placed at the campus (nr. 8). Note that these printers are not like small devices for home use, but large equipment that require the necessary facilities.
Xilloc, developer and manufacturer of patient-specific bone implants, has relocated to the campus to develop its activities in 3D printing on an industrial scale. Moreover, Xilloc will play an active role in realizing a 3D printing ecosystem at the campus, with initiatives and projects in education, materials research, the acquisition of industrial 3D printers (nr. 21), and production.
23. Spinning disc-technology
Flowid from Eindhoven builds a small-scale plant at the campus, in which the spinning disc technology will be applied on a commercial scale. This concerns a new type of chemical reactor, which is not only much smaller than conventional reactors, but also much safer, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly. The technology, that was developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology, is particularly suitable for the decentralized processing of bio-based materials, near the source. This initiative too follows on the Pilot and Mini Plant Facilities (nr. 5) and Chemelot InSciTe (nr. 2).
Watch an animation of the technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p42pCoOJ5sc#action=share
24. Pilot plant DSM Advanced Surfaces
DSM will build a pilot plant at the campus for high-tech coatings.
25. Pilot plant SABIC
SABIC will decide about building a pilot plant at the campus for polypropylene.
26. Collaboration campus and site
An investigation is going on regarding the closer cooperation between the campus and the Chemelot Industrial Park, with the aim to create win-win situations.
27. Limburg Development Fund
In addition to Chemelot Ventures (nr. 12) the Limburg Business Development Fund starts in 2015. This fund, with a volume of 30 million euros, will be managed by the Limburg Development and Investment Company LIOF. The fund will support start-up companies in the earliest phase of development.
28. Startupbootcamp Smart Materials
Startupbootcamp Smart Materials is the first business accelerator for smart materials in the world. Start-up companies active in this wide area were invited to participate and the most promising ideas were eligible for extensive support. This support is mainly provided by experienced mentors at the campus, but also includes financing. The ten selected teams are: Bluescop, Hy2Care, Medical Device Works, Nestegg Biotech, Novioponics, Orthonova, Tiamet3D, Ceracarbon, Matricore, and Resens. They’re now preparing their pitch for Demo Day, next July 10.
More information: www.startupbootcamp.org/accelerator/smart-materials
29. Master Bio-based Materials
Maastricht University has finalized the accreditation of several new educational programs, in particular the Master Bio-based Materials, which starts at the campus next September.
30. Community building
Finally, a development of a different order than real estate, research and teaching is the transformation of the campus into an innovative community. Suitable real estate is an important condition and undoubtedly contributes to the quality of research and innovation. Many campus residents attended the January 6 new year meeting in Building 24 (no. 1), which may be regarded as a measure for the community spirit.
All these developments will make sure that Brightlands Chemelot Campus is and remains a powerful engine for the regional economy.
This blog post is a repost of my (Dutch) January 12, 2015 post, which (after a little modification) is still up to date.
Read my May 20, 2013 blog post about the reason why of my English reposts.