In 2011 CHILL was founded by SABIC, DSM, VISTA College, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and Maastricht University as a combined Centre of Expertise and Centre for Innovative Craftsmanship for Chemistry and Materials. At the time, the focus was mainly on the laboratory and the associated training courses.
Since then CHILL has grown into a unique, innovative learning, working and research environment where companies and knowledge institutions work together to develop new knowledge and innovative products and processes.
Students follow courses and work under professional guidance on real innovation issues of Chemelot and Brightlands Chemelot Campus companies and SMEs from the region. Startups, multinationals and everything in between find low-threshold research and development opportunities at CHILL, without high costs for current equipment, resources and staff.
“The Chemelot Region will become the first European Circular Hub,” says Lanclus. “In this development there are great opportunities, but also challenges in the field of education and labour.” For example, there is the CHILL Circular Space, a circular pilot plant that can process waste into raw material and where scaling up processes is tested. The entire pilot plant is run by students.
However, Lanclus does state that there is a great need to attract and retain talent for the region, not only from the Netherlands but from the entire Euregion. “In Belgian Limburg, car factories are closing, in Germany the lignite industry is closing. In such situations, a lot of potential is released that we can very well use to continue the transition to circularity.”
The full interview with Luc Lanclus can be found on the Brightlands website.