AkzoNobel Joins Major Innovation Programme To Solve Societal Challenges

AkzoNobel has joined more than 80 companies, businesses and social organisations in a major Dutch research programme focused on developing new technologies that will help solve societal challenges.

Seven broad consortia have been established as part of the government-funded Perspectief programme, with AkzoNobel set to play a leading role in the SusInkCoat project that will explore how to make coatings and inks more sustainable.

The company will work with private partners and other societal stakeholders to develop new materials, processes and applications to improve durability, functionality and recyclability of coatings, thin films and inks. The programme will run for the next five years and is backed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy along with the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

“Our discussions about collaborating with our SusInkCoat partners have been very positive,” said Andre van Linden, R&D Director of Scientific Academic Programs at AkzoNobel and co-lead of SusInkCoat. “We’re all facing the same societal challenges – how to become more circular – and we’re looking for the same solutions in different application areas, but we’ve never done that together for this specific research topic, so we need an ecosystem to help us solve these challenges.”

AkzoNobel will collaborate with Canon, Evonik, GFB, PTG and RUG Ventures, which possess extensive knowledge of market demands, supply chains and production processes. SusInkCoat partners will also work with academic researchers at several Dutch universities to identify promising developments that can be commercialised, used for education purposes or for outreach to the public.

According to van Linden, the programme will also support AkzoNobel’s ambition to achieve 50 per cent less carbon emissions in its operations and across the value chain by 2030.

“We want to make the recyclability of materials – such as furniture, building materials and steel constructions – easier by introducing functionalities like self-healing, higher durability and triggered release,” added van Linden. “The more you can leave the materials in their original state, the more sustainably you can operate.”

Research conducted by the other six consortia includes investigating methods to make tastier plant-based food, flat optics for more sustainable high-tech equipment, and cheaper and more accessible medical imaging technology.