A new laboratory space is currently being set up in Bergen op Zoom for Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy. This is where the Biobased Building Blocks & Products and Biobased Building lectorates will be working in particular. Because of the high occupancy of the Avans laboratories due to the COVID-19 measures, there was an increasing need for own laboratory space. And that is what the former research laboratories of Cosun became, nowadays called the Delta Agrifood Business (DAB). Here, various companies, start-ups and educational institutions conduct research into sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, the protein transition, and renewable materials.

When the lab is really ready, what will we see there in terms of research? John van de Moosdijk, researcher at the lectorate Centre for Biobased Building, explains: “Initially, we are going to do research primarily aimed at improving various mycelial materials. Mycelium is the scientific name for the “root system” of fungi. These strong fibers are suitable for making all sorts of sustainable products, from artificial leather to chipboard, and from insulation material to wine packaging. However, improvements are still possible in several areas, and research at the DAB lab will focus on chemical modifications to the materials to achieve this.” One example project that will be carried out in the DAB lab, among others, is Growing Leather. In this project, 2 SME companies join forces with Avans University of Applied Sciences to develop vegan leather from mycelium. The lab will be further equipped to make it suitable for chemical research, both for small molecules and for larger scale research on composites.

Would you like to know more about the SGI lab and the projects? Please contact John van de Moosdijk.

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