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December 15, 2022

Marc Poulissen links supply and demand at Chemelot

Innovation. Everyone talks about it. But not everyone is at the cradle of new developments. Brightlands Chemelot Campus is the place to be in this respect. Marc Poulissen is on top of it and invites companies, organisations and colleagues from VIRO: "Come here to see the different possibilities."

On Chemelot's campus, the chemical innovation community, eight thousand people work in various laboratories to develop new materials. Programme Manager Marc Poulissen works from the campus on behalf of VIRO. The Brightlands Chemelot Campus is his duty station. "The new materials are applied in machines, cars, you name it. I talk to the various parties on the Campus and Chemelot, including about the materials, new startups, the work at Chemelot and bring parties/companies together. Usually VIRO is the connecting factor in this chain. I bring VIRO customers and prospects to the Campus to show them the developments and inform them about the opportunities here. Such as 3D printing solutions, new materials, and how VIRO can integrate them into their product. The material is available, they have a final product, but in between it has to be calculated and constructed. For that, they need us. We are the mixing lubricant."

Spider in the web

Brightlands is churning with innovations. And Marc tries to be involved in everything. He sits in various platforms to stay well informed about new developments on the Campus. "If a new development suits VIRO, I look for a connection and enter into further discussions with the right person or department at VIRO. This is how we are involved in various projects. In the construction of a new port, in autonomous driving vehicles and in energy-recycling issues, such as producing hydrogen from household waste. But we are also working on Industrie 4.0 issues, including linking factories so that fewer employees are needed. We also do the engineering of small startup plants."

Special Defence Day

On 18 October, Marc and his colleague Wim Oosterwijk organised a Defence Day. Attendees included several representatives from the military, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (Defence Taskforce), TNO, the Province of Limburg and major manufacturing companies for Defence. "We had speakers from Dyneema, Brightlands Material Center, Chillabs and VIRO on materials. In his talk, Colonel Goossens of innovation centre FRONT explained what the centre is doing at Brightlands and that there are many opportunities here that they want to exploit. On behalf of VIRO, Robin Huijerjans gave a lecture on ammonia as the fuel of the future. For VIRO, a close relationship with manufacturing companies is important to work together on Defence's demand. Defence has a 3D magnesium printer on campus. Students from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and Maastricht University are conducting tests with it. In the future, Defence hopes to print spare parts with it. This could mean they no longer have to carry large supplies during operations. Just a 3D printer."

Working together #1VIRO

On Defence Day, more than 40 interested people visited Brightlands. Several new contacts were established and interesting ideas passed by. "Here at Brightlands, subsidised research is also possible. That is not directly interesting for VIRO, but it is for our customers. For example, a customer can have research done on a material. Or indicate which properties are desired for his product. VIRO can then do the calculations and engineering with this new material. We can also supervise the student for the customer. Soon there will be a follow-up research on "ammonia, the fuel of the future". Can we extract ammonia from fertilisers? We are doing this research together with Zuyd University and Chillabs. If it works, we will build a prototype of the machine. In these collaborations, the different departments within VIRO Echt work together. Automotive, mechanical engineering, but the research is done by Applied Science students. That falls more under IP." Marc makes an emphatic appeal: "As #1VIRO, this kind of collaboration is also possible between branches. Do you have one or more customers or potential customers? Sign up with me!"

Visibly positioning VIRO

At events such as the Defence Day and the Automotive Day, Marc is the connecting factor. He arranges the speakers ("I ask our department heads: what topic do your customers want to hear more about?"), makes sure everything is well organised and talks the talk. "The most important thing is that the right information comes in in the right way. In the right size, not too deep and not too much detail in the beginning. You have to put down the rough lines first so that everyone understands the story. Then we have to position ourselves well as VIRO. We are the blend lubricant, I always call it. One has this. The other wants that. And we sit in between and can create that. Either independently, or with students, or with the campus. If we position ourselves well, the work comes naturally. Moreover, with all our disciplines and knowledge at the various branches, we can handle anything. The great thing is also: if we move up the chain, do more innovative consultancy, we bring in challenging and beautiful projects for our employees.
Marc Poulissen

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