ARC CBBC sets the foundation for new chemistry


ARC CBBC is a unique collaboration between leading academic groups and the industry. This national research centre explores sustainable chemical products and processes that will lead to renewable energy use, lower feedstock consumption and less generation of waste. The consortium is still expanding its research infrastructure and sees opportunities to contribute to the European Green Deal.

Unique collaboration with own research infrastructure

ARC CBBC has a research programme with one-on-one projects and consortium broad projects. In the latter almost all industrial partners and universities are involved. It’s still a little early for scientific results, and yet the first findings, publications and patent applications are a fact. Besides that, the consortium has accomplished great breakthroughs in terms of collaboration and scale. ARC CBBC is building up its own research infrastructure with its own lab facilities, located at the three hubs at the universities of Groningen, Eindhoven and Utrecht. All members have access to this advanced research infrastructure, which means access to a high quality and complementary knowledge infrastructure.

Trendsetter with high ambitions

“We are building a research community that is distinctive within the chemical sector”, explains Bert Weckhuysen, scientific director of ARC CBBC. Although the form of collaboration is not unique, it sets the trend for other knowledge institutes across the world. In order to realize substantial impact on society, you need to collaborate. Companies can not tackle the national ambition on its own, especially if they struggle with the same challenges.

The plans for 2020 are ambitious: another 24 researchers as member of the consortium, bringing the total amount of researchers working on sustainable chemistry around the hundred. But also before the European Green Deal, the board of ARC CBBC questioned itself: how can we bring this initiative from a national to an European level? Weckhuysen gives an example: “The University of Utrecht became coordinator of SUN-ERGY, the merge of European research initiatives ENERGY-X and SUNRISE. These are already the first steps in the direction of European scale”.

ARC CBBC in Chemie Magazine

Chemie Magazine, the monthly magazine of De Koninklijke Vereniging van de Nederlandse Chemische Industrie (VNCI), devoted an article to ARC CBBC. The VNCI is the branch organisation of the chemical sector in the Netherlands and has the mission to connect, strengthen and represent the sector so that its members can contribute safely, efficiently and innovatively to a sustainable and prosperous society.

Author of the article in Chemie Magazine: Leendert van der Ent

Here you can read the article (in Dutch)
Or read the full Chemie Magazine (edition Nr.1 January 2020) here