Coci’s & iLabs
Individuals and organizations wishing to participate in the Top Sector Chemistry are given the opportunity to also be able to do business by providing the required infrastructure in a low-threshold way locally. In addition, regional and (inter) national sources of financing, technical substantive knowledge, entrepreneurship coaching and business advice are conveniently made accessible to the target group. This with the aim to fulfill the ambition of the Topteam ChemistryNL to take innovation to a higher level. With the establishment of the Centers for Open Chemical Innovation (COCI) and iLabs, ChemistryNL promotes entrepreneurship in chemistry.
At present there are seven COCI locations across the Netherlands:
Green Chemistry Campus, Bergen op Zoom
Biotech Campus, Delft
Green PAC, Emmen
Pivot Park, Oss
Plant One, Botlek-Rotterdam
What is a COCI?
At a COCI location, the young company, which has already realized a considerable turnover and has tied its first customer, will find all the brownfield basic facilities (ie utilities) and environmental permits that are necessary to scale up the production. In the international roll-out of the product, the entrepreneur can use the network of the established chemical multinational (s) at the COCI location, the so-called custodian (s). Once successfully launched in the (international) market, the then ‘matured’ company leaves the COCI location to establish itself elsewhere and thus make room for new businesses.
An iLab is a physical breeding ground (eg incubator) in the vicinity of a knowledge institution, where the starters can develop a ‘promising concept’ to a scalable product. By providing a company in the iLAB with (among other things) good lab facilities it can operate independently and also develop itself, while the entrepreneur can at the same time go for experiments on expensive equipment, as well as for reflection on new results, easily (former colleagues of ) the knowledge institution. When the next phase is reached and experiments on a larger scale are desired, housing at a COCi location is a logical next step.
There are currently 10 iLABs, namely:
iLab Zwolle, part of Green PAC
iLab Delft part of the Biotech Campus Delft
iLab Utrecht, part of the Utrecht Science Park
Green Chemistry Innovation Lab, part of Green Chemistry Campus
In addition to these nine, ChemistryNL expects to realize more iLABs. For example, there are discussions with Leiden and Enschede. If these conversations and processes are successful, then every university with a chemistry / chemical technology training (the disposal of) has a hotspot for new business.
Centers of Expertise and Centers of Innovative Craftsmanship
In HBO Centers of expertise and MBO Centers for innovative craftsmanship, entrepreneurs, scientists, teachers and students work together to promote the quality of technical education. These public-private partnerships seek to connect with the regional knowledge infrastructure by focusing on a strongly represented top sector. (Top) education, applied research and retraining and further training are closely related in order to develop a unique training and knowledge profile.