Triple Helix partners collaborate
At DSM people were convinced of the great potential of the campus. After discontinuing the implementation of the Master Plan in 2008 (read The campus develops into an economic engine), DSM was looking for cooperation with other parties to bring this plan to a successful conclusion. In collaboration with the Province of Limburg and Maastricht University / Maastricht University Medical Center+ ambitious plans got off the ground. These three parties represent government, research, and business. The collaboration was referred to as Triple Helix; the parties formed a consortium.
Early 2012, the Triple Helix partners announced to invest in total over 180 million Euro in research facilities, a venture capital fund for companies, an education program, and real estate for the accelerated development of Chemelot Campus and Maastricht Health Campus. Later that same year, Chemelot Campus B.V. was established, with the Triple Helix partners as shareholders. The objective of this new legal entity was to develop the campus into a preferred location for companies, educational and research institutions in advanced chemistry.
The venture capital fund took shape as Chemelot Ventures (starting capital 50 million Euro).
The Chemelot Campus shareholders each had their own interest in the campus development. DSM could create, at its own premises, an environment where it could foster the development of innovations. The province could responsibly use its financial resources – amply available after the sale of its shares in energy company Essent – for the good of the Limburg society. The university could relatively easily have access to special facilities (laboratories) that were needed for a new education program in the natural sciences.
In 2012, the construction activities were resumed with the construction of the head office for LANXESS Elastomers (now ARLANXEO). This company had taken over the synthetic rubber activities (Keltan) from DSM a year earlier. The office was built in record time and the next year it was official opened.
In the same year – 2012 – two educational initiatives started at the campus, CHILL and the Maastricht Sciences Program. During the mining years and long after, DSM had its own training institute at Geleen. For instance, in 1929, the Maurits State Mine started building a school for breaker boys, who were trained to be miners. Around 2000, DSM stopped all its in-house training activities. However, the shortage of adequately trained personnel presented more and more problems. In 2010, the Dutch government made funds available, through Platform Bèta Techniek, for educational investments. In 2012, this resulted in Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL), in which Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Arcus College, Leeuwenborgh Opleidingen *), and Maastricht University cooperate; the center was based at Chemelot Campus. CHILL makes available an innovative learning, working, and research environment, where education and business cooperate in the development of knowledge and new products.
The Maastricht University’s Maastricht Science Programme started as a liberal arts & science education, in which students are educated at bachelor level in natural sciences. Two master programs were added: a Master Biobased Materials at Chemelot Campus (starting 2013) and a Master System Biology at Maastricht Health Campus (starting 2014).
In addition, Maastricht University and the Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen started the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) at the campus in 2013.
In addition to CHILL and Maastricht University, Enabling Technologies and Reverdia were new entrants in 2012. Enabling Technologies is a joint venture of DSM, Maastricht University / Maastricht University Medical Center+, and the Province of Limburg. This organization makes available high-quality analysis equipment, such as microscopes and spectrometers, to SMEs.
Reverdia, a joint venture between DSM and Roquette, produces succinic acid that is used in bio-based materials.
Brightlands was introduced in 2014, the brand name for Chemelot Campus and Maastricht Health Campus, later on also for Smart Services Campus at Heerlen and Campus Greenport Venlo.
In the same year, two research institutes were set up at the campus. Chemelot Institute for Science and Technology (Chemelot InSciTe) initiates research programs in the fields of biomedical materials and bio-based materials. Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) does research into advanced applications of polymer materials.
In 2015, a building became available where companies can accommodate their pilot plants. Chemelot InSciTe, Sappi, and Technoforce were among the companies. The South African paper company Sappi does research into the production and application of nanocellulose. The Indian company Technoforce (since 2013 at the campus) is working on separation technology (read A seperate post about separation).
In 2016, Center Court was opened, a new building with general facilities, such as a restaurant and meeting rooms, as well as new accommodations for DSM Innovation Center, CHILL, and Maastricht University.
In 2017, Sekisui S-Lec established a European research center at the campus, for research into new applications of films in cars.
This year (2018), two new buildings are under construction: the BrightHouses, which will accommodate Sitech Services and a number of other companies.
Recently, the establishment of the Brightlands Sustainable Technology Center (BSTC) was announced. In recent years, Brightlands Chemelot Campus and Chemelot Industrial Park have developed quite independently. Through the BSTC, campus and site are reunited on one single agenda. This research center must come up with revolutionary solutions to ensure that Chemelot will be climate neutral by 2050, while CO2 emissions are reduced to (near) zero. The input of companies, research institutes, and knowledge institutes, such as Sitech, TNO, and Maastricht University, is required for this.
This new center shows that Brightlands Chemelot Campus is the preferred place for new research.
Finally, at the end of 2018, it was announced that Fortimedix Surgical is moving from Nuth to Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
*) Arcus and Leeuwenborgh in a merger.
Read also How it started underground, The first transition: from coal to chemicals, When it went darker than in a mine shaft, How DSM developed into a chemical company, How DSM made a big leap forward, DSM from commodities to higher added value, How DSM remained profitable in the 1990s, How Chemelot started, and How Chemelot has prepared for the future.
This is a repost of my (Dutch) November 5, 2018 post.
Read my May 20, 2013 blog post about the reason why of my English reposts.