Werfbezoek BlueApp
On the site of Blue Gate Antwerp, we are working hard to get the first labs of the new BlueApp building - the innovation hub for sustainable chemistry and materials of UAntwerp - ready for use by early 2022. Despite the corona crisis, we are right on schedule and so it was time for the first site visits. Interested start-ups and large companies could discover the possibilities and potential of BlueApp in person on 10 and 11 June.
22 June 2021

At the moment, BlueApp is still a busy construction site opposite BlueChem. But in time, 4800 m², including 3000 m² of laboratory space, will be available. There, researchers, start-ups and large companies alike can scale up their innovative ideas concerning water, reactors for sustainable (bio)chemical conversions and new materials. 

"We see this site as a mini ecosystem around sustainable chemistry and materials," says Quinten Van Avondt, manager of BlueApp. "As a start-up you can go to BlueChem for office space with all necessary services and rent a lab. Moreover, you can quickly establish contacts with the biggest players in Antwerp's chemical industry who also have an office here. BlueApp offers lab space on a larger scale, including a number of capital-intensive research and pilot instruments and a team for technical support. Researchers, start-ups and large companies alike will be able to test and scale up innovative business cases here."

Looking for partners

D-CRBN is one of the start-ups that came along to inspect the site. The company uses plasma to convert CO2 into CO, which can then be used as a feedstock for other chemicals. "We are now at the stage where we want to build a pilot line," says Gill Scheltjens, co-founder of D-CRBN, "but we are actually a piece of the puzzle in a larger value chain. Therefore, we are looking for partners from the chemical or metallurgical sector to represent the rest of that chain in the pilot line. In BlueApp we have the necessary space for this, while in BlueChem we share a building with the right partners."

Flexible and high-performance

During the site visit, the focus is mainly on the technical possibilities of the new building. In order to attract ambitious entrepreneurs, BlueApp is betting on a high-performance but flexible infrastructure. "It is very impressive", agrees Scheltjens. "I have rarely come across such fully equipped buildings in my career, both in the academic world and in industry. Everything has been thought of, just like the smaller labs in BlueChem for that matter."

"We want our researchers to be able to dream big," explains Van Avondt. "That is why we invest in top facilities, with the demo hall as the big eye-catcher. In terms of height, weight and power supply, you can put an enormous installation there. Sustainable chemistry is a research field that is evolving at a rapid pace. That's why the building has been designed to be very flexible and modular, so that we can easily add the necessary pipes and utilities if required for a new project." 

What can we do for you?

By February 2022, the first labs in BlueApp would be ready for use. Did you miss the site visit, but are still curious what BlueApp can do for your research project? Then be sure to contact us. We will be happy to explain the possibilities in detail. If desired, we can do this on location.