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  • Maastricht creates cross-border alliance

    - By mid-2012, Maastricht University (Netherlands) and RWTH Aachen University (Germany) will set up researching facilities specialized in biobased materials. Goal is to create advanced materials that substitute less sustainable ones like plastics and other fossil based substances.

    Maastricht University is to set up a cross-border alliance with RWTH Aachen University. With the ambition to significantly advance technology and production of biobased materials, the two universities will pool their technical capacities at the Chemelot Campus based in Limburg.

    Biobased polymer materials substitute fossil based products such as plastics. Being made from living matter such as highly processed plant matter, they are more environmentally friendly and seen as a crucial step towards making material production more sustainable given depleting fossil resources.

    Key research goals will be

    1. the empowerment of natural plants to let them behave as a kind of a factory for the production of advanced biobased building blocks and macromolecules,
    2. chemical transformation of such building blocks for higher functionality,
    3. processing and compounding of biobased building blocks and polymers into application driven materials
    4. development of biobased, bioactive materials for clinical use including biodegradable scaffolds for applications in regenerative medicine.

    RWTH Aachen is particularly strong in molecular biology, plant biotechnology, molecular and process engineering sciences and medical technology, while Maastricht will be contributing its expertise in biology, computational sciences, biomaterials science and clinical operations. As talks have progressed significantly already, experts involved in this project expect it to be up and running by mid-2012.