Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials: cross-border open innovation
AMIBM is a cross-border cooperation between Maastricht University, Aachen University and Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME). The cooperation has been established with the vision of providing the missing link between fundamental and applied research and the market in the field of biobased materials. It aims to do this by changing the relationship between the production of biobased materials and the value chain through the development of an integrated, interdisciplinary research program. The program focuses on new strategies to produce advanced biobased materials in a sustainable and economical way. It also emphasizes the development of these novel materials into innovative products with high added value for technical and medical applications .
AMIBM offers a unique approach covering the entire biobased materials value chain, including raw materials (feedstock), polymers (materials) and the end products derived from them (applications) and sustainability evaluations over the whole value chain. Applications include biobased materials for medicine, environmental protection and industry applications .
The three founding institutions Maastricht University, Aachen University, Fraunhofer Institute and the Province of Limburg provide funds as shareholders for exploitation costs based on a 10-years agreement (2012-2023)
Evidence of success
Targets are set for the 10-year funding period, which are monitored continuously. The project has so far made considerable progress in approaching the target numbers set until 2023 of 2,900 knowledge workers, 1,000 students and 117 multinational/SME/science tenants.
Potential for learning or transfer
This good practice is especially useful for regions with a strong (academic) research landscape and a reliable network of foreign partner institutions.
Other regions can profit from the holistic approach of AMIBM which is well suited to address an identified broader challenge and likely to produce more sustainable results than a narrow problem perspective.
European regions can learn from Limburg how to set up cooperation between knowledge institutes from different member states and how a merge like that really works. Limburg is a region that uses the borders in a positive way: all policies are crossborder policies as Limburg has more borders with neighbouring countries than with Dutch regions. So both policywise and in the field of learning by doing, regions can learn from the Limburg examples.