Greening chemical industry a step closer by extending ARC CBBC

Biobased Chemcycling

Sustainable energy and materials, such as coatings and catalysts, come a step closer. Now that the collaborating parties in the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) will continue their cooperation on making the chemical industry more sustainable over the next five years.

AkzoNobel, BASF and Shell, together with the universities of Eindhoven, Groningen and Utrecht, are investing in developing a large international ecosystem in the field of research and development of green chemistry.  The consortium has been supported by NWO and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change from the outset, after its launch in 2016. As an open ecosystem, it seeks more collaboration with other parties at home and abroad.

ARC CBBC directly connects the top of the chemical science in the Netherlands with the researchers of the affiliated companies and vice versa. Not only are the research facilities of the universities used, but also those of the companies involved. This makes ARC CBBC a partnership with enormous potential in the field of sustainability.


Over the past five years, research has already led to breakthroughs in the field of energy, materials and raw material transition. Examples include smart processes for CO2 conversion and the use of biomass to make existing and new materials, such as coatings.

In the past period, joint investments have been made in a unique research infrastructure in the Netherlands that also distinguishes itself internationally. Over 59 top researchers are now working within this programme on greening chemistry, with room for another 21 research positions. This has already resulted in several patent applications and numerous publications in leading scientific journals.

Cooperation in an open ecosystem

Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa, Spinoza Prize winner Bert Weckhuysen and top scientists such as Hans Kuipers stood at the cradle of the consortium. From the business community, Shell, AkzoNobel and BASF committed themselves from the start to this important initiative with a shared ambition. According to the companies, a long-term cooperation is of decisive importance for a solution that truly contributes to the Dutch and European sustainability goals. ARC CBBC is looking for partners to strengthen the research programme in order to increase its impact both nationally and internationally.

Scientific director Bert Weckhuysen: ‘We are proud of the results achieved so far and pleased that the partners have committed themselves for another five years. Only together will we make the difference. We can already see that. Full of energy, we are focusing on the next five years in which we want to invest further to become the best-in-class science infrastructure in Europe with an important pioneering role in the field of greening and circularity. As an open partnership, we are looking for even more cooperation with other parties.’

Wim Raaijen
I am a creative publisher, editor in chief, writer, vlogger and moderator with a journalistic and philosophic based view. Trying to re-invent the concept of publishing, based on platforms and partners, instead of separated media and advertisements. I am interested in industrial subjects like transition, sustainability, safety, energy efficiency, innovation and responsibility.