Flemish Minister of Innovation Hilde Crevits grants 430,000 euros to CAPTURE, the research platform of UGhent, VITO, UAntwerp and VUB. CAPTURE focuses on research into the circular use of CO2, plastic and water. 

Ensuring the availability of high-quality water, considering used plastics as raw materials, converting CO2 into useful products. These are three challenges that CAPTURE wants to tackle by working together with key knowledge centres and industrial players in Flanders to make breakthrough research possible. The big step forward can be taken by linking all these available expertise to each other, creating a consortium that is fully committed to the reuse of water, CO2 and plastics. The research platform CAPTURE plays a crucial role in this. By stimulating the collaboration between researchers, companies, governments and other actors, the platform grows into a powerful collaboration that helps create a circular economy. CAPTURE supports projects by bringing stakeholders together to accelerate the flow of research to innovation and implementation.  

CAPTURE, founded in 2015 by young and ambitious professors, has experienced a strong growth sprint over the last year. Ghent University was joined at the end of 2019 by the core partners VITO and the University of Antwerp, followed a year later by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The four institutions are equal partners within the initiative. As a result, the research platform, which has cooperation between excellent researchers with companies and authorities as its core value, now has more than 50 research leaders responsible for 40 research groups and more than 300 researchers. Together with more than 100 companies and local, regional and regional authorities, this makes it possible to draw the full picture of the circular economy. For those interested in the platform: CAPTURE is based on an open collaborative model, everyone who wants to work together with an open mind is welcome.  

On the basis of excellent research, all these actors will work together to develop and scale up technology, to valorise it as quickly as possible and to provide widely accessible training. The intense collaboration between companies and knowledge centres is crucial in this respect; not only does it speed up the translation of research into industrial applications, it also helps to align research with business needs.  

Knowledge is the strength of this collaboration that drives the CAPTURE platform forward, knowledge dissemination and demonstration are a multiplier. Whether in the form of training or pilot constellations or demos, the aim must be to ensure that knowledge flows to stakeholders as quickly as possible.  

CAPTURE should be a radar for companies to know what technological possibilities exist (or will exist) to reuse water, CO2 and plastic as efficiently and optimally as possible. Some leading programmes, for example, concern the provision of circular water supply for industry, the production of methanol from CO2 and the chemical and mechanical recycling of plastics.  

Stimulating this open cooperation between different actors is a financially challenging issue. Supporting Minister Crevits to the tune of €430 000 will not only help to ensure CAPTURE's livelihood, it will also mobilise resources to reach even more actors who want to join forces to work on tomorrow's circular economy. Funding will be used, among other things, to better frame scaling up projects and to link a broad range of companies (from spin-offs to multinationals) with researchers to achieve the social transition to a circular economy. All this in cooperation with existing initiatives... The goal is clear: to ensure that circular models become the norm as soon as possible. This ambition fits in perfectly with one of the key points of the policy plan that the Ministry has developed for the period 2019-2024, namely: sustainable growth thanks to a knowledge-driven circular economy. All the building blocks are in place, all we have to do is make it a solid structure together.With combined forces, we are already taking many steps in the right direction.  

More relevant than ever: #TogetherWeBecomeCircular 

Quote Flemish Minister of Innovation Hilde Crevits: "CAPTURE embodies our ambitions and priorities for more sustainable innovation and a circular economy. The researchers rightly focus on the circular use of CO2, plastic and water. These are the three most important things we are working on with Flanders to create a truly circular economy through innovation. Because CAPTURE cooperates directly with industry and companies, knowledge flows very quickly to the shop floor and concrete applications. To give this platform a boost and to stimulate even more cooperation, circularity and innovation, we are granting 430,000 euros in support". 

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