BlueApp, the reference centre for sustainable chemistry

Pre-incubator BlueApp brings industry and academia together to enrich Antwerp’s integrated ecosystem of sustainable chemistry. This innovative hotspot has an ambitious goal: profiling the Antwerp region internationally as the reference for sustainable chemistry.

BlueApp is the meeting point for researchers, companies and investors within the sustainable chemistry sector. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to the world's second-largest chemical cluster, giving Antwerp a robust international profile in this field. Economically, the port is vital for the city and the country. Nevertheless, its ecological footprint is massive. BlueApp will play an essential role in changing that. “For international and national companies, BlueApp is the perfect local knowledge partner”, says Quinten Van Avondt, manager of BlueApp. “We have expertise in sustainable and innovative chemistry and a good knowledge of local factors such as the innovation landscape, regulations or local production factors. With BlueApp, we strengthen the Antwerp ecosystem around sustainable chemistry with expertise, infrastructure and workforce.”

A bridge between research and industry

BlueApp wants to be a matchmaker between researchers and the industry. Together with its partners, it’s building an ecosystem to respond to future challenges, like climate change and the energy transition. The innovation hub will allow start-ups, scale-ups and companies to develop their projects and innovative technologies. They can test the impact of local factors on their production process, apply research in a safe environment or test new strategies without interfering with existing production lines. The research centre has some critical assets with its large labs, strict safety regulations, and confidential framework.


“In BlueApp, we build the bridge between university research and industry, driven by the search for answers to socially relevant challenges”, says Van Avondt. “We are an open hotspot for innovative ideas in the circular use of water, recycling carbon and nitrogen, hydrogen production and air purification. For example, the University of Antwerp researches CO2-conversion using electro-, plasma- and photocatalysis. In BlueApp, companies can discover the possibilities of this conversion.”


“The university also has acquired much expertise on hydrogen: how to produce it, what about the transport and storage. Antwerp has the ambition to become the European hydrogen hub. If we want to achieve that, hydrogen must be imported in large quantities and different forms. BlueApp is happy to share its knowledge and to cooperate with interested companies.”

In BlueApp, we build the bridge between university research and industry, driven by the search for answers to socially relevant challenges”,

Infrastructure, knowledge and talent


“New ideas can go through the full cycle of technology development”, says Van Avondt. “A proof of concept is the starting point; then we build, test and refine. We have a large demo hall, fully equipped labs and facilities like complex analytical equipment and high-end 3D printers. Our team has the expertise to use these devices.”


“We believe BlueApp is the structural partner many companies working on sustainable chemistry seek. We have the knowledge, our infrastructure meets the highest standards, and Antwerp has a central position with easy access to industrial hotspots in neighbouring countries and significant local production of chemicals.

French scale-up is coming

gebouw BlueApp

Several companies are already active in BlueApp: spin-offs Oxylum and D-CRBN. Later in 2023, Fairbrics from France will join them. This scale-up transforms captured CO2 into polyester, which can be used for clothing production.


Read more about the highly integrated chemical cluster in Antwerp: