Collaboration yields the most success when it is sustainable, with partners that can be relied upon. This is why MNEXT, the Center of Expertise for materials and energy transition, and Looop, an expert in valorizing waste streams, have agreed to a strategic partnership. What does this mean in practice?

Publication date
29 February 2024

The essence of the partnership is simple: finding each other within the respective fields. MNEXT conducts extensive research on the valorization of waste streams, and within its network, Looop serves as the best matchmaker for companies actively seeking innovative ways to utilize their waste streams while contributing to practical research.

“There is a beautiful synergy between MNEXT and Looop,” says Kelly Vermeer, Manager Strategic Business Development at Looop. “The combination of knowledge and expertise from both parties allows us to progress together in materials and energy transition.”


The strategic partnership between Looop and MNEXT has emerged because the experience and expertise of both organizations complement each other well. Kelly Vermeer explains, “MNEXT has specific knowledge and access to research resources, and we value the support of students in research projects. On the other hand, Looop has access to waste streams from the food, fermentation, and beverage industries. With over 30 years of experience in upgrading waste streams and their logistics, we know their properties and nutrient values. This combination of knowledge and expertise ensures that we move forward together.”

MNEXT has specific knowledge of cleaning and processing waste streams to make them suitable for processing. The synergy between these two parties propels the materials and energy transition forward. Jappe de Best, Lector Biobased Resources & Energy at MNEXT, is enthusiastic: “The strategic partnership offers many opportunities to strengthen MNEXT’s research. Looop’s network with companies looking to do something with their waste streams is enormous. Previous projects have already proven that our collaboration has significant value.”

The building blocks

The initial collaboration between MNEXT and Looop dates back several years with the WOW! Capitalisation project. This project focused on researching PHA bioplastic derived from industrial wastewater, such as waste streams from a brewery or a potato processing plant. These projects have already led to significant progress in PHA production. In the new project, ImPHAct!, MNEXT and Looop once again join forces to make the production of PHA from waste streams more predictable and stable.

Another project where MNEXT and Looop collaborate is “TUrn FUnghi potentials into a COLorful future (TUFUCOL),” which started in September 2023. This project aims to produce dyes through the fermentation of fungi. These fungal dyes offer an attractive alternative to synthetic dyes, paving the way towards sustainability.

Additionally, Looop plays an active role in projects of the minor Biobased Technology and Business Development and the minor Sustainable Energy & Resource Recovery, involving students in sustainable initiatives. For example, a project focusing on the valorization of waste streams from insects started in January. In conclusion, the future holds much promise, and Looop and MNEXT are embracing it together!

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