Financial injection for biobased materials research at Maastricht University
Maastricht University (UM) researchers working at Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) have received a substantial financial injection of €4 million to support new developments in biobased materials. This amount has been made available by the Province of Limburg. The Province also qualified AMIBM as one of the most successful projects within the Knowledge-axis Limburg programme.
The AMIBM, that started in 2016, is a European, cross-border, research institute embedded in Maastricht University (UM) at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials. It strives for ground-breaking conversion of biomass to biobased materials and into product applications. The AMIBM is located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in the Dutch Province of Limburg and conducts innovative fundamental, applied and translational research by creating synergies between academia and industry.
Why was AMIBM set up?
Before the establishment of the AMIBM, research in the field of Biobased Materials in the region of Limburg had a modest scale. In the setup of the institute with Principal Investigators covering important steps in the value chain in strong collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, and the realization of an appropriate technical infrastructure, a critical mass has been created that provides more power and visibility in this research domain.
The AMIBM contributes to the realization of societal regional interests. It enriches and strengthens the regional knowledge infrastructure by covering research areas that will help the region to transition from a leader in coal and crude oil to a leader in biobased materials.
AMIBM creates jobs
The AMIBM attracts significant revenue, having raised up to €13,5 million in additional funds. These resources create direct employment, especially for PhD and postdoctoral researchers, and technicians. The earning potential of the AMIBM also attracts many young, educated people from outside the region to Limburg. The AMIBM has a diverse, international workforce, many of whom are young people who now enjoy living in the Limburg region and building their future here.
… spin-offs, education and cooperation
The AMIBM has enabled spin-off companies to become established in the region. These companies often make direct use of AMIBM infrastructure, and AMIBM scientists are often directly involved as advisors and/or shareholders.
Due to the increasing involvement of AMIBM scientists in current and new educational programs, students benefit from an enriched educational portfolio. With its closely related Master’s program (the Biobased Materials Master), the AMIBM provides students with a training opportunity during their research studies or provides work in the institute and/or its spin-off companies. In this way, the AMIBM ensures that highly educated students find employment here and continue to work and live in the region.
The AMIBM’s significance for external (Eu)regional key stakeholders is of great importance. AMIBM scientists work closely with companies and public-private partnerships in the (Eu)region: within the Brightlands Chemelot Campus ecosystem, crossovers with institutions located on other Brightlands campuses in Limburg, as a European cross-border research institute, there are close collaborations with RWTH Aachen University research institutes, with Fraunhofer and DWI Leibniz Institute. Furthermore, the AMIBM works together with more than 50 industrial partners. This large network of institutes, companies and public-private partnerships has led to many new projects in which the AMIBM is a participant or coordinator.