In the TKI BBE foundation, the top sectors Chemistry, Agri&Food and Energy are currently working together. Kees de Gooijer, figurehead of both Agri&Food and BBE, announced before the summer during the National Biobased Conference in Driebergen that he wanted to end his tasks in the field of BBE. He will, however, remain active for Agri&Food.
Jacueline Vaessen, figurehead of ChemistryNL, together with her colleagues from relevant sectors, wants to ensure that biobased economy remains a recognisable centre of gravity. “For a circular economy, alternatives to fossil sources are limited: it is recycling, CO2 from the atmosphere or biomass. The question is not whether, but mainly how fast and on what scale biomass is going to usher out the fossil era.”
With this, the top sector Energy is actually taking a step back. “From the content of the agendas, this makes perfect sense,” states Peter Molengraaf, figurehead TKI Energy. “Most innovations for biobased economy are in the field of (bio)chemistry and only to a limited extent still in the field of bioenergy.”
The new TKI Systainable Chemistry and Circular Economy will be responsible for developing and expanding the Dutch innovation agenda of the chemistry and biobased economy, focusing on ground-breaking innovations, circularity, CO2 reduction and sustainable economic renewal and growth. The new TKI also implements the Circular Economy (CE) mission team in close cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W).
According to David Pappie, director of Top Sectors and Industrial Policy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate of the Netherlands (EZK), the merger provides clear synergy benefits. “The cabinet’s recent letter on bio-based raw materials and the importance of high-quality application in chemistry and materials make a decisive entity with a focus on biochemistry and materials important.”
Quartermaster Tom van Aken (CEO of Avantium) will complete his preparatory work this autumn so that TKI Sustainable Chemistry and Circularity can start in January 2023. For the position of figurehead, someone with leadership experience in the chemical industry and/or chemical science is sought. Experience in the field of circular economy and biobased economy is a plus. Applications can be submitted until 17 October 2022.
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