12 Industrial Doctorates in Biotechnology, Chemical engineering, Technical chemistry, Biobased materials, Biobased material synthesis, Green chemistry, Fiber engineering, Textile engineering and technology, Medical engineering and technology, Social and industrial ecology, Sustainable development, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Change management.

Scientific objectives

The mission of Biobased Value Circle is to establish a paradigm shift in the innovation process for biobased materials to accelerate the transition from a fossil-based to a biobased and circular economy. This is essential to tackle urgent issues in our society, such as climate change and plastic pollution.
Biobased Value Circle aims to contribute to the development of the circular biobased economy, by removing barriers, such as: no common language and methodology for product development, taking into account social and environmental impacts and insufficient LCA methodology. This is a long-term aim, which cannot be achieved by Biobased Value Circle alone. The twelve PhD projects constitute the first important steps, targeting specific strategically chosen biobased products. The projects will all apply the common language and methodology. On the one hand, this will contribute to solving specific problems in each value circle. On the other hand, the experiences of each PhD applying the methodology, contribute to the improvement of the language and the methodology.

The specific objectives of Biobased Value Circle are to develop:

  • biobased functional polymers for four technical applications;
  • biobased fibres for two technical applications;
  • biobased fibres for three medical applications;
  • an adapted LCA methodology for circular biobased products;
  • a common language to facilitate communication between all experts involved in the development of biobased value circles (product engineers, chemists, biologists, economists, environmental impact, sociologists, etc.);
  • a product development methodology to facilitate collaboration of all experts involved in the development of biobased products. The method spans the entire value circle including all development steps from product design, laboratory research, to full size industrial application. It includes data on biomass, materials and processes and simulation tools. Scaling of processes is a key element of the methodology. It allows for swift iteration over the entire value circle and to collect the input from all disciplines involved. The methodology takes into account the regulations and restrictions for each of the development steps as well as the economic and environmental performance of the processes under development.