On 19 maart 2015, 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.


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”.


The Province of Limburg has decided to invest 15M€ in the Brightlands Materials Center for a period of five years.

  • TNO has committed to enabling a research volume of 15M€ by bringing together budgets from various sources.
  • DSM, as one of the leading materials science companies in the world with a strong foothold in the region, will join the 3D printing program of the Brightlands Materials Center and is committed to further develop a successful materials center by building on DSM’s extensive materials knowledge and expertise.
  • SABIC will actively participate in the further evaluation of the requirements that are deemed to be necessary for a successful start and implementation of the Brightlands Materials Center at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
  • The Eindhoven University of Technology has decided to bring fourteen Impuls PhD research positions into the center. Furthermore, the participation in the new center gives the TU/e the opportunity to bridge the gap between the polymeric materials industry and the university research programs.
  • MERLN, in conjunction with Maastricht University and Maastricht University Medical Center+, intends to substantially contribute to the success of the joint Program on Additive Manufacturing both by allocating knowledge and human resources like PhDs in the field of regenerative medicine.
  • DPI Value Center is one of the initiators of the Brightlands Materials Center and is delivering five SME Business Innovation Experts who will coordinate the entrepreneurship activities within the new center. These activities will include helping companies to build value chain projects and other innovation projects.
  • The Brightlands Materials Center is currently engaged in talks with the leading technology institute DPI (Dutch Polymer Institute) with a view to collaborating in the development of an industrially relevant and internationally leading program of expertise in certain areas of polymeric materials research as part of the new center.
  • The Materials innovation institute (M2i) has decided to work out the current Materials Roadmap overlapping the various top sectors in the Netherlands together with the Brightlands Materials Center. It is the intention to have Soft Materials within the HTM Roadmap overlap with the Polymeric Materials Roadmap of the new Materials Center.
  • Kriya Materials BV and Oerlemans Plastics BV have decided to enter into collaboration with the Brightlands Materials Center in the field of nanomaterials for functional packaging applications.
  • Wageningen UR Food and Biobased Research Centre has decided to start collaboration with the Brightlands Materials Center by connecting its research programs on Sustainable Packaging and Recycling to the new center.
  • Polyscope will collaborate with the Brightlands Materials Center on the different technology platforms and application areas related to fundamental research, innovation and commercialization of SMA copolymers and compounds.
  • The Debye Institute of the University of Utrecht has agreed to cooperate with the Brightlands Materials Center in the field of nanomaterials.
  • Together with the newly established institute Chemelot InSciTe, the Brighlands Materials Center will further explore and exploit the opportunities in biomedical 3D-printing applications.
  • The Brightlands Materials Center and Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL) are to join forces in offering infrastructure, such as testing, processing and characterization equipment. Together they will offer projects and programs in which students from different educational levels (secondary and higher vocational and academic) work together on common research and development topics.
  • Yparex BV will actively support developing the technology platform of the new center on adhesion.As a leading European supplier of extrudable tie-layer resins, Yparex BV is always looking for more efficient methods to bond dissimilar materials together across large surfaces.
  • Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) is to collaborate with the Brightlands Materials Center in the Plastics Recycling Program.


TNO has over 3000 professionals who put their knowledge and experience to work in creating smart solutions to complex issues. These innovations help to sustainably strengthen industrial competitiveness and social wellbeing. TNO is partnered by some 3000 companies and organizations, including SMEs, in the Netherlands and around the world. For more information about TNO and the five societal themes that are the focus of its work, go to www.tno.nl

Brightlands Chemelot Campus

At Brightlands Chemelot Campus, research and development are performed and education is provided in the field of chemistry and materials, and related life sciences. The focus is on performance materials, biomedical materials and bio-based materials. Chemelot Campus collaborates with Maastricht Health Campus under the name Brightlands. Brightlands also relates to the research program of Maastricht University, Zuyd Hogeschool and the Province of Limburg. For more information, go towww.brightlands.com



Source: http://www.brightlandsmaterialscenter.com/