Looking back on our Annual Symposium

We look back on an inspiring and successful annual symposium!

Climate change and global warming urges society to reduce the environmental impact of production processes as well as of our daily goods and materials. The Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) is a unique partnership in which leading international chemical companies and universities join forces to prepare our society for a more sustainable future. 

Every year ARC CBBC organizes a symposium where we present our latest developments, and inform our community and beyond. We wish to connect everyone involved in reinventing chemistry.

Scientific Director Professor Bert Weckhuysen opened the symposium and highlighted the uniqueness of the consortium, including recent and future developments. Briefly, the investments in new labs at the three hubs (TU/e, RUG and UU) have been mentioned as well as the introduction of the three ARC CBBC tenure-track assistant professors: Dr. Eline Hutter (UU, active in the field of photocatalysis),  Dr. Nikolay Kosinov (TU/e, working on new catalytic materials) and Dr. Marta Costa Figueiredo (TU/e, working on electrocatalysis).

Hosted by Lotte Metz (UvA) and Sophie van Vreeswijk (UU), inspiring speakers took the stage. These included Dr. Eline Hutter and Dr. Marta Costa Figueiredo as well as six of our PhD students from various universities, who are working in close collaboration with our industrial partners AkzoNobel, Shell, BASF and Nouryon.

Slide from the presentation of ARC CBBC PhD student Sobhan Neyrizi (UT). In collaboration with Shell, Neyrizi works on a research project entitled: Electrochemical CO2 conversion: elucidating the role of catalyst, support and electrolyte

ARC CBBC recognizes the important role of chemistry in circularity. It focusses on new chemistry to enable the use of renewable feedstock and energy. However, not only chemistry and technological research was discussed during the symposium. In his invited keynote lecture, Professor Erik Paredis of the University of Ghent gave a broader perspective on the societal aspects of a transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy. The politics of a circular and carbon-neutral economy and the challenge of going beyond science-industry-driven framings.

The symposium was concluded with a lecture from our Chair Professor Ben Feringa. He talked about chemistry as the ‘creating science’ and how chemistry faces challenges such as the reduction of carbon dioxide, recycling materials and the more sustainable production of food for the more than 10 billion people on earth. He emphasized that with a shared passion for chemistry within ARC CBBC we are working on the chemistry for the future!

Slide from the presentation of Professor Ben Feringa.


We thank all our lecturers and chairs and of course the many participants we have welcomed online!

Next year ARC CBBC will celebrate its 5-year anniversary with a special edition of the annual symposium, taking place on April 22, 2021. Stay tuned and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.