“Fuelling a better chemistry”: this is the theme we addressed during the third ACN meet-up of 2023. We all know that traditional fuels are a major cause of the climate crisis we are facing, still, our society is dependent on them. So, why not talk about the “better” fuels, bio-based and renewable, that can help to smooth the transition to a carbon-neutral society? But the energy transition needs also another kind of “fuel”: money. During Chem together we presented then funding opportunities for innovative companies. Hopefully, they will be the building blocks of a more sustainable chemical industry in the future.
The Port of Amsterdam opened its headquarters to our community, with Roon van Maanen (Director Energy & Circular Industry) and Anna-Marise Rocha (jr. commercial manager) hosting the event. Being the 4th largest Port in Europe, but the largest petroleum port in the world, Amsterdam looks at the future and works to become a leader in biobased and waste-based products. Companies like Argent Energy, Nordsol, Greenergy, Chaincraft, etc. together already account for approx. 500.000 tons of production capacity of several fuels and chemicals. On the other hand, three main industrial clusters in the Port region currently depend deeply on fossil fuels: steel production, trade and bunkering of fossil fuels, and aviation (at the Schiphol airport). The Port is heavily investing in green hydrogen, but new ideas and projects are urgently needed.
Our first guest speaker was dr Felipe Ferrari, Long-Term Innovation Lead for GoodFuels. Felipe has a solid experience in bioprocess engineering and biorefinery; with his team, they are actively researching new fuel technologies like e-fuels and waste stream conversion into fuel feedstocks. Their focus is on decarbonizing the maritime sector. To put the challenge in perspective: the world’s renewable energy generation would need to increase up to 100% just to supply enough (net) zero-carbon fuel to power the shipping industry. GoodFuels work with an independent sustainability board to ensure that their products do not compete with food or cause biodiversity loss, land use change, or deforestation, while still assuring a 75-90% CO2 reduction. GoodFuels is actively involved in numerous mid to long-term, EU-backed fuel innovation projects. Their R&D team works on drop-in biofuels as well as on alternative solutions. This includes research on solvolysis, pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, and e-fuels. They joined the event with an interest in future consortia they might form, offering a business perspective on technology development. If you know a possible partner, reach out to the ACN team.
The second part of the event involved two talks from two investment agencies with an interest in science-based innovation. Sander Vester, Business Developer at ROM InWest, described how an entrepreneurial ecosystem will strengthen the regional and circular economy of North Holland. ROM InWest offers a recently-founded investment fund, integrated with business development and ecosystem development. Their. funding options are tickets between 300.000 and 5M euro for strong startups, scale-ups, and SMEs working on climate impact reduction and innovation. The final speaker was Wessel van der Wouder, Investment Manager at Innovation Fund Noord-Holland. He explained their options to fund innovative startups in the very early stages, e.g. Proof-of-Concept (TRL 3 – 5) convertible loans from 50.000 to 350.000 euro.
If you want to have follow-up meetings, we can arrange connections for projects and partnerships. Do not hesitate to contact us!
Thank you to ChemistryNL to sponsor the event, to the Port of Amsterdam for the support, and to Mark Kokos (Port of Amsterdam) for the help with the organization and advertising.