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We are slowly moving closer to a biobased society in which we eliminate fossil raw materials and make way for biomass. But will there be enough young professionals to be able to support and shape this transition? Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE) of Avans University of Applied Sciences and HZ University of Applied Sciences (HZ UAS) is committed to this. Together with companies, governments, students and researchers, they work on biobased issues on a daily basis. What are your biobased challenges?

As a central player in the Circular Biobased Delta, CoE BBE works together with Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences, various foreign partners, regional parties such as REWIN, BOM or Starterslift, but also with no less than 120 large and small companies. This ensures a continuous flow of knowledge between education, government and business.

Collaborating in practical research

CoE BBE conducts research from within the research groups. Each research group consists of a professor, lecturer-researchers, researchers and students. Where possible, the results from research projects are translated into educational material so that the content is in line with the needs of biobased companies. There are 5 research groups within the CoE BBE, namely; Biobased Building (HZ UAS and Avans), Biobased Building Blocks & Products, Biobased Resources & Energy and Marine Biobased Specialties. In addition, they work closely with the Biobased Art & Design research group of the AKV St. Joost and HZ UAS research groups Aquaculture in Delta areas and Building with Nature. A new research group is also on the horizon that will focus on circular and biobased business opportunities and cooperation in the chain.

Ralph Simons, Director CoE BBE: “Students and researchers from various disciplines such as marketing, legal, chemistry and commercial participate in practical research projects with companies. In this way mutual involvement is created and that offers opportunities for both these young talents and for the companies. Companies get direct access to our students and researchers through the research groups.”


Where is all this research being conducted? Biobased building materials are built in the workshop of SPARK, biobased colors are tested at the Color Application Center (KLAC) , bioplastic prototypes are made in the Biopolymer Application Center (BAC), materials from fungal threads can be found in the mycelium lab and in the biobased lab for example, research is being conducted into how to obtain bioplastic from sewage water. And that’s not even mentioning everything. Professional equipment is available at all these places to be able to properly carry out the biobased research.

Douwe-Frits Broens, Portfolio manager Business Support: “Through joint projects with the business community, they also gain access to all our facilities. We want to help as many companies as possible with their biobased challenges. And the facilities we have certainly contribute to that.”

Do you want to get started with your biobased ambitions?

CoE BBE likes to think along with you. Maybe joining a research project is a good option, is there a student who can help you further or your question fits perfectly with one of the application centers. Subsidies may also be available for the issue you have. Would you like to learn more about the biobased economy first? Then follow one of the online courses that CoE BBE has developed for both students and professionals.

By conducting biobased research together with the business community and by renewing biobased education, the pool of young professionals in this field is growing. And that is necessary. Time to build more “biobased bridges”!

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