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Dutch open innovation centre for advanced materials

Last Thursday (7 July) saw the official opening of the Open Innovation Center Advanced Materials (OICAM) in Nijverdal, the Netherlands. The new innovation centre is a network of companies and knowledge institutions inside and outside of the Netherlands' province of Overijssel that focuses on sharing knowledge, research and development concerning high-grade materials and materials technology. The centre was opened by Dr T

11th July 2011

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nijverdal

Sports/​Outdoor, Medical/Hygiene, Protective, Transport/​Aerospace, Construction, Civil Engineering, Industrial, Packaging, Agriculture

In the meantime new projects have been initiated, such as the manufacture and application of naturally produced (synthetic) materials, the so-called biopolymers; the GreenSource demonstration project, where irrigation water for synthetic grass fields for recreational sports is cleaned with the aid of innovative filtration technology; and the development of sustainable nano-coatings for textile materials (by the Academy Life Science, Engineering & Design of Saxion University in Enschede).

Last Thursday (7 July) saw the official opening of the Open Innovation Center Advanced Materials (OICAM) in Nijverdal, the Netherlands. The new innovation centre is a network of companies and knowledge institutions inside and outside of the Netherlands' province of Overijssel that focuses on sharing knowledge, research and development concerning high-grade materials and materials technology.

The centre was opened by Dr Theo Rietkerk, Member of the Provincial Executive of Overijssel, together with Mr Peter den Oudsten, chairman of the board of Regio Twente, and Ir Loek de Vries, president and CEO of Royal Ten Cate nv.

According to the partners, through innovative research and he building of demonstration projects and trial productions, new materials and applications with exceptional characteristics will be developed and knowledge valorisation will be achieved.

The goal is for the business community and knowledge institutions, such as the University of Twente and Saxion University, to quickly realize new product-market-technology combinations, which will in turn stimulate the manufacturing industry in the region and attract knowledge workers. In this way, the partners say, OICAM will close the gaps between idea, product and production and stimulate starters and spin-offs in materials technology and at least five concrete projects should be delivered in the coming two to three years.

 "Through the availability of pilot facilities and equipment for trial productions, the independent foundation OICAM wishes to quickly and efficiently actualize new materials and spin-offs. In this way not only will innovative products be realized, but above all new (international) markets will be served at company level. At the same time cross-fertilization can take place, since within OICAM several related projects will be in progress alongside one another. New ideas lead to new materials, products and subsequently to new company activities," a spokesperson said today, adding:

"Harnessing and reinforcing the regional innovative power of both Overijssel companies and knowledge institutions will benefit the Overijssel business community and can generate growth in employment. Furthermore OICAM wants to focus explicitly on sustainable materials and technologies, as well as on sustainable design."

Market demand and need for cooperation

According to the project partners, the need for innovation is steered by market demand and various small, medium and large Overijssel enterprises want to turn potential opportunities into concrete innovations. In addition the region of Twente and the province of Overijssel want to focus specifically on materials technology, in numerous forms.

In the meantime new projects have been initiated, such as the manufacture and application of naturally produced (synthetic) materials, the so-called biopolymers; the GreenSource demonstration project, where irrigation water for synthetic grass fields for recreational sports is cleaned with the aid of innovative filtration technology; and the development of sustainable nano-coatings for textile materials (by the Academy Life Science, Engineering & Design of Saxion University in Enschede).

"There is a growing need for effective cooperation to accelerate the sharing of knowledge, know-how and insights and realize new products, in order to give impetus to new business activities. At the same time open innovation helps to connect links in the same value chain or indeed in different value chains. As a result new forms of cooperation will materialize and this approach will become a regular item on the strategic innovation agendas of companies," a statement said.

 

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