Chemistry incubator BlueChem welcomes its first start-ups
Several start-ups will move into the brand new BlueChem building in Antwerp after the extraordinary corona measures. BlueChem is the first Belgian incubator that focuses on sustainable chemical innovation and is therefore extremely popular. Almost half its laboratories are already occupied by innovative start-ups and strategic and international partner companies.
Over a third of BlueChem already occupied
Chemistry incubator BlueChem would normally open its facility at the eco business park Blue Gate Antwerp on April 28th, in the heart of one the world’s largest chemical clusters. Due to the coronavirus, the ceremonial opening has been postponed, but the incubator is still thriving. In total, 7 start-ups, 6 international partner companies and 5 strategic partner companies have filled almost half of the laboratories and office space. Likewise, about 60 people are able to start their activities at the BlueChem facility.
BlueChem’s priority and main goal is to assist growth companies in developing sustainable innovation for the chemistry of the future. Within its ecosystem, there is a unique flow of collaborations between large companies, SME’s and start-ups on one hand, and between the government and research institutions on the other hand. This stimulates innovation, allows promising enterprises to grow and strengthens Flanders’ economically significant chemical sector.
Attractive for international companies in sustainable chemistry
BASF, Borealis and INEOS had already confirmed their cooperation as partner companies. Recently, 3 more large international enterprises – Air Liquide, ExxonMobil and Vopak – have agreed to support BlueChem. These enterprises provide access to a unique and vast business network. Thus, they offer an advantage for innovations in sustainable chemistry to scale up to an industrial level, both in Belgium and abroad.
The companies located in BlueChem can also rely on specialised services in the domains of financing, innovation, legal support and business development. The experts of Catalisti, the spearhead cluster for innovation in chemistry and plastics, will therefore move into the BlueChem facilities. Strategic partners, such as BNP Paribas Fortis, Deloitte Legal and Port of Antwerp, will provide their professional services.
The importance of big data and artificial intelligence in the chemical sector is increasing drastically. This allows processes to run safer and more efficiently on one hand, and improves research and development on the other hand. As a result, new strategic partner SAS Institute will provide its platform for advanced analytics to all start-ups and scale-ups present. This way, they will optimise and accelerate their innovations in sustainable chemistry.
Additionally, the city of Antwerp supports young entrepreneurs with the BlueChem Kickstart Fund. This fund provides financial support for the design and organisation of their laboratories. Like this, the city of Antwerp realises its ambitions to optimise sustainable innovation for the economical heart of Antwerp: the chemical sector. Read all about the BlueChem Kickstart Fund here.
4 new start-ups
Besides Arpadis, Creaflow and InopSys, which signed their BlueChem lease agreement in December 2019, the start-up companies Calidris Bio, IBEVE, Peace of Meat and Triple Helix will also join BlueChem.
“Even before its opening, BlueChem is already a success story.”
Frank Beckx, president of BlueChem NV and managing director of essenscia Vlaanderen, the sector federation of chemistry and life sciences;“BlueChem offers the right accommodation at the perfect place to successfully support groundbreaking innovations which focus on sustainable chemistry and circular economy. I would like to thank all entrepreneurs and partner companies for their engagement in taking the lead to further develop innovations in the chemical and industrial sectors on a sustainable manner.”