"The freedom of new opportunities: Effective, Efficient and Integral"

Aaldrik Haijer (Water & Energy Solutions) on Chemport Europe

What do companies, governments and education institutes expect from Chemport Europe? Aaldrik Haijer, founder of Water & Energy Solutions, asks himself: "Wouldn't it be good if companies, education institutes and the government have a comparable vision? A vision that enables the continuation and improvement of our society." 

The common goal

If you want to strengthen and expand an existing biobased ecosystem, you need a common goal. As Chemport Europe we already are a best-practice region in terms of green chemistry. We have the infrastructure, experience and knowledge that enable us to continue our current activities. Would it not be great if we could use our operational excellence for the purpose of attracting and setting up the chemical industry of the future? With different parties aiming for the same goal and contributing to setting up new production chains? Can our overlaps strengthen each other on the basis of future-oriented self-interest under the common denominator of Chemport Europe? It would be excellent if we could achieve something like that.

Next Level Insight, Next Level Efficiency and Next Level Integration

What is the company Water & Energy Solutions going to contribute to Chemport Europe? "Together with the University of Groningen we have developed a new method for saving energy at large plants. We focus on savings of more than 20% with payback periods of less than two years. To achieve this, we must consider a production process from a different perspective. What we call "Next Level Insight" involves considering a production process on the basis of water and energy flows, and using our method to get a detailed, verified insight into processes. On the basis of this we can optimise, and at the same time consider concept modifications that result in significant efficiency improvements (Next Level Efficiency). We can do so without changing the effectiveness of transferring materials into products. This means we will start to contribute to the improved sustainability and competitiveness of Chemport Europe in the near future.

As we generate new insights at a plant, we can also look at connecting plants in a different way. We do so, for example, in cooperation with Groningen Seaports. This enables us to link direct advantages with a sustainable strategy for the future for both existing and new companies (Next Level Integration).

The power of the triple helix

The story of Water & Energy Solutions proves how powerful the cooperation is between companies, education institutes and governments, the so-called triple helix.

"Our company is a startup that began at the University of Groningen. When we had only just established our company, we faced scepticism and didn't have a track record: 'You say you have a method to save energy, but where is the evidence?' It was incredibly helpful then that the development agency that is active here, NOM, believed in us and introduced us to a number of their contacts in the chemical industry, which was partly what got us going." Our cooperation with Groningen Seaports is another striking example of the triple helix. We are therefore grateful and proud that we are able to contribute to the success of Chemport Europe.