The lab will offer industry the opportunity to scale up processes towards ‘proof of concept’ , possibly in collaboration with other (SME) companies and knowledge institutions.
The ZAP facility is a semi-industrial environment where knowledge institutions and businesses collaborate on innovative solutions for the biobased economy. It was initiated in 2015 by the Hanze University of Applied Sciences(lead partner), the University of Groningen (RUG) and Noorderpoort (secondary vocational education). Since the establishment, ZAP was mainly used for educational purposes.
Valorization of residues
Applied research in ZAP focusses on valorization of biomass residues, like sugar beets, potatoes, grass, pruning waste, lupine or hemp. A good regional example is adding value to chitin from shrimp shells, Chitin is being converted into high-quality, biobased raw material for the paper and paint industry, water purification and pharmacy, sustainable crop protection, in the clothing industry (coloring of jeans) or is used as a natural polymer alternative for durable implants.
The first startups wishing to establish themselves at ZAP have already expressed their interest, meaning that the newly built innovation hall is already half-full. According to general manager Rob van Linschoten: ‘Entrepreneurs contact the ZAP facility with applied research questions and we like to use the experience of these entrepreneurs to market new biobased products or to make (chemical) processes more sustainable. This contributes to a solid region and a stronger international position.’