Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials officially open

december 9, 2016

The “Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials” (AMIBM) opens 1500 m² of new laboratories on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus and presents new installations (eg. wet spinning line) and initiatives such as the launch of the BioTex Fieldlab. Within AMIBM, Maastricht University (UM), RWTH Aachen and Fraunhofer form a unique collaboration for research into modern biobased materials.

Opening AMIBM
On the 9th of December, the “Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials” (AMIBM) has officially been opened. AMIBM is a unique collaboration between Maastricht University (UM), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer). It is the first time that these three parties are collaborating at this level. The UM and RWTH signed the collaboration agreement earlier this year, now Fraunhofer has also formally joined this alliance. AMIBM opens 1500 m² of brand new laboratories on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the location for triple helix collaborations in the field of new materials. More than 50 employees from the UM, RWTH and Fraunhofer work within AMIBM, researching modern biobased materials. The team develop new innovative and sustainable materials, eg. by using the bi-product of machine peeled prawns with the help of deep sea bacteria. Borders will be crossed, both of countries and disciplinary, all to the benefit of AMIBM projects. Biologists, chemists, engineers and medical staff from 16 different countries work together in AMIBM. AMIBM has been established with support from the Province of Limburg as part of the ‘Kennis-As’ Limburg.

Unique wet spinning line
Today, AMIBM presents her worldwide unique “bi-component wet spinning line” for the development of medical fibers. It is a special installation that at almost 20 meters long spins biobased fibres from “wet” (polymer solutions) at room temperature. That in itself is exceptional, but this installation can spin two biobased polymers simultaneously (to create bi-component fibers. This allows for two characteristics to be combined in one fiber, eg. strong and anti-bacterial fibers for medical implants. Finally, the fibers are provided with a coating that adds even more (medical) characteristics to the materials. AMIBM develops the specific fibers to produce implants, focusing on cardiovascular applications such as bio-hybrid heart valves. Bio-hybrid implants combine the advantages of organic and synthetic implants.

Textile from biobased materials
AMIBM announces kick-off of “BioTex Fieldlab”. The BioTex Fieldlab is a testing ground for the development of (production) processes for fibers and threads made from new and available biopolymers. The testing ground will be housed within the AMIBM Laboratory on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The testing ground bridges the gap between biobased polymers and market ready applications in textile, such as bedding, clothing and carpets. The partners in this project are AMIBM, Modint (the Dutch branch network of 600 companies in clothing, fashion accessories, carpet and (interior) fabrics) and CHILL (Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs). There will be close collaboration with biopolymer and textile producers. Today, AMIBM has also announced that the project partners for the BioTex Fieldlab have been granted a subsidy of € 760.000, by the “Operationeel Programma Zuid-Nederland (OP Zuid)”.

International academic research institute
AMIBM offers employment to over 50 talented researchers from 16 different countries. It does research into biobased materials in a so called “value chain approach’: coming from new modified organic sources, new chemical building blocks, new polymer chemistry right up to innovative technical and medical applications. As an international research institute, AMIBM contributes to the attractiveness of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus and helps pull both people and commercial activity to the Euregio, eg. by starting spin-offs. AMIBM’s international character offers companies from the region an approachable access to broad knowledge and research capacity with both Dutch and German partners.

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