BlueChem as the ideal incubator for growth companies in sustainable chemistry

As a start-up, you can always count on support from the city of Antwerp, for instance by joining incubator BlueChem. On this site, start-ups and growth companies enter an inspiring and renowned ecosystem, with labs, useful contacts and mutual knowledge sharing. In this article, you will read the story of two start-ups that are working hard at BlueChem to develop the sustainable technologies of the future.

What is BlueChem?

BlueChem is an incubator and helps start-ups and growth companies to develop sustainable innovations for the chemistry of the future. In fact, this ‘helping’ can be taken quite literally, because BlueChem does not only provide you with office and lab space. The incubator forms an interactive ecosystem, where companies from the chemical sector share knowledge and contacts. BlueChem holds an important position technologically and industrially, which makes it a quality label for investors, knowledge institutions and other companies.

Case: Biotech start-up Allegro

Allegro's co-founder Jorg Schelfhout graduated with a PhD in chemistry. He noticed that there were few companies offering regenerative therapy for cartilage injuries. With the support of BlueChem and the city of Antwerp, he is now doing this by himself. "At BlueChem we could start immediately: not only a lab is provided, but also, for example, chemical water and logistics. The acceptance committee applies strict criteria, so every company here is hugely committed to sustainability. This also benefits mutual cross-pollination because each fellow company acts as a sounding board."

Allegro is currently conducting research into the development of two products against osteoarthritis. One is a regenerative implant that can accommodate meniscus tears and the other is a diluted alternative in the shape of a hydrogel. You can read the full article on Allegro on the VLAIO website (in Dutch).

Case: Triple Helix and circular industry

Triple Helix Molecules as a Service was one of the first companies to take up its residence at BlueChem. This start-up aims to accelerate the sustainability transition at chemical companies. According to CEO and founder Steven Peleman, there are certainly plenty of reports on how to shape circular economy. " Only this does not produce much action. That's why we develop and market new solutions ourselves to help transform entire industry clusters. We develop and build specific recycling technologies, and on top of that we look at how we can close material loops more effectively through digitalisation and logistics. We always do this with partners from the value chain, and within BlueChem we are perfectly positioned for this, by the way: in this ecosystem we have not only all the tools but also the right contacts right away."

Thanks to support from the city of Antwerp, BlueChem and the right partners such as VLAIO, construction of their second spin-off company will begin at the end of 2022, while in the meantime their lab at BlueChem is set to start. Read the full article on Triple Helix on VLAIO's website (in Dutch).

Also in need of support for your project on sustainable technologies? The City of Antwerp offers backing for numerous start-ups and scale-ups in innovative research and development. Read all the information on this page.