Antwerp University opens BlueApp, an innovation hub for sustainable chemistry and materials

On 4 May, BlueApp officially opened its doors in the circular business park Blue Gate Antwerp. BlueApp is a pre-incubator for sustainable chemistry and materials.

“The Antwerp region is an international reference for sustainable chemistry”, which is also the ambitious goal of BlueApp. The site itself is symbolically located next to the BlueChem building in the Blue Gate Antwerp business park. BlueChem is Belgium’s first incubator for sustainable chemistry. It is also a location for start-ups and scale-ups.

World’s second largest petrochemical cluster

The port of Antwerp is home to the world’s second largest petrochemical cluster. It is economically vital, but the industry also has a heavy environmental footprint. This needs to change, and the pre-incubator BlueApp will play an important role in this. With the support of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, the City of Antwerp, the Province of Antwerp and essenscia, among others, the Antwerp University aims to develop BlueApp into a reference centre for sustainable chemistry.

Applied research and industry go hand-in-hand

BlueApp’s building is equipped with labs for those disciplines involved in sustainable (bio)chemical processes for the production, treatment or analysis of (bio)materials, gases and liquids. On the one hand, the focus is on applied research in cooperation with industrial partners, and on the other on the development of products and processes which result in a license or investment agreement. There will also be one permanent research group in the building that will focus on process intensification of the (bio)chemical processes at a TRL level of 3 to 6. Collaboration with other research groups at the Antwerp University, but also with other (inter)national knowledge institutions will be key.

The Blue Gate Antwerp circular business park, closely linked to the city, the port, the Antwerp University and the Maritime Campus (MCA), will form the beating heart of innovation in sustainable chemistry.

Unique innovation ecosystem in sustainable chemistry

By establishing BlueApp at the Blue Gate Antwerp business park, an unique innovation ecosystem in sustainable chemistry is growing that can help shape the future of both region and society. Hydrogen, for example, is an important link in the sustainable society because it can be injected into mobility applications, chemical processes and the natural gas network. Other examples of innovative and sustainable technologies in which the Antwerp University is at the forefront: new forms of process energy (electro-, plasma- and photocatalysis), in-line detection and measurement technologies, improved processing and recycling of gaseous, liquid and solid waste streams, sustainable and bio-based raw materials, CO2 as an alternative raw material, probiotics, advanced (nano) material characterization and modelling.

Source: Antwerp University, Flows

Blue Gate Antwerp, an eco-effective business park

Petroleum South was once the very heart of the Antwerp petroleum industry. Today, the site has been cleaned up and it is ready for a new chapter: Blue Gate Antwerp, a leading public-private project that takes the future into its own hands. The climate neutral business park is reserved for innovative companies with a well-defined ambition: linear growth through circular operations.

Together with like-minded businesses they will activate circular flows at the micro and macro levels. This delivers cost efficient collaborations both on and off site. Businesses locating here are committed to the eco-effective industry, in which they will produce the same qualitative end product while reducing the use of raw materials.




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Antwerp UniversityBlueChemChemical clusterInnovation ecosystemPort of Antwerp-Bruges