The R&D agenda in Flanders is based closely on what is happening at the European level. SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, has taken a leading role in this area and has defined 3 Enabling Technologies:
- Reaction & Process Design: efforts aimed at ensuring that industrial processes operate in an integrated, efficient and environmentally-friendly manner
- Industrial Biotechnology: making use of biological innovations to improve industrial processes and products
- Advanced Materials: making use of nanotechnologies and advanced materials sciences to create new materials with unique properties
Research at Ghent University in these 3 Enabling Technologies is carried out by 37 independent academic staff (ZAP) leaders and 300 researchers (postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students), with further support from 45 technicians.
Our chemical expertise is engaged to tackle concrete challenges facing our society. These challenges are materialized as 5 R&D pipelines, grouped into 2 Societal Challenge Innovation Programs:
- Resource Recovery: recovering value from common waste flows where the waste flow is viewed as a raw material
- Chemicals from Renewable Resources: making (fine) chemicals as well as polymeric materials from renewable resources, with focus on molecules that cannot be easily produced petrochemically