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DPI Newsletter

Newsletter issue: June, 2012

DPI related news
Leading sectors policy in the Netherlands
TKI Smart Polymeric Materials
On 2 April 2012, the Dutch government signed the innovation contracts for 2012 and 2013. The plans laid down in the innovation contract for the leading sector Chemistry will be fleshed out in the coming months, including the structure of the Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI). The leading sectors have to submit their plans for the governance of the TKIs to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation before 1 September. The sector is hoping to complete the outline plans for the TKI before the summer. Jacques Joosten, Managing Director DPI, is leading the working group for the planned Top Consortium for Smart Polymeric Materials.
Annual report 2011
We are pleased to present to you our Annual Report 2011, structured around the theme of ‘Past, Present, Future…’ In the past few years DPI and its partners have established an environment that enables researchers to execute excellent research to meet various industrial and academic needs and goals.
This annual report takes you on an exciting and dynamic tour of our activities in 2011 and we hope that it will stimulate you to take polymer science and technology to unprecedented heights. 
To download the Annual Report, click here. If you would like to receive a hard copy, please send an e-mail to communications@polymers.nl
New partners
Lawter became a partner in the Coatings Technologies programme on 1 April. Further information about the company can be found at www.lawter.com.
In Performance Polymers, Freeslate became partner per 1 January 2012. More information can be found on their website: www.freeslate.com
Council of Participants
The ‘Council of Participants’ was held in Eindhoven in April. Around 25 participants, almost all of them representatives of DPI’s industrial partners, attended the meeting where they received an update on the status of DPI’s programmes. Among the subjects that were discussed were new partners, the Leading Sectors policy, priorities, workshops, Calls for Proposals, European projects and developments at DPI Value Centre.
Changes in the Supervisory Board
Jos Put and Michael Dröscher stood down as members of DPI’s Supervisory Board in April 2012. Jan Roos from Teijin Aramid and Marcel Wubbolts from DSM have joined the Supervisory Board.
DPI wishes to express its gratitude to Mr Put and Mr Dröscher for their valuable contributions in the last few years.
Plastic Marine Litter
The participants of the project ‘Tackling Plastic Marine Litter in the North Sea’ are expected to sign the contract for the project in June. On 1 September 2012, studies will commence into the current life cycle of 0.5-litre plastic bottles. The research will also identify leaks in the cycle.
This project is part of the research on the societal theme Plastic Marine Litter of DPI.
Process meeting CompNanoComp
On 17 and 18 April, the first project review meeting of the EU project ‘multiscale computational approach to the design of polymer-matrix nanocomposites’ (CompNanoComp) was held in Lyon. The meeting was hosted by EU partner, Solvay-Rhodia. All eight EU partners attended the meeting, which was organised to present and discuss the latest results. The cooperation between the EU partners has been progressing  excellently, to the great satisfaction of Rhodia and General Electric, which hope the project will lead to the development of new materials for ‘green’ car tyres (Rhodia) and larger wind turbines (GE). Rhodia and General Electric believe that by learning more about the distribution of nanoparticles in polymer matrices and predicting related properties the time needed to develop the new materials van be shortened. The meeting in Lyon concluded with an Executive Board and General Assembly meeting for the management of the project.
The second joint meeting with the Russian partners in the project took place from 30 May to 1 June 2012 at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Prof. Khokhlov). The next EU project review meeting is scheduled for 8 and 9 October 2012 at the National Technical University of Athens (Prof. Theodorou), in Greece.
Successful DPI and DPI Value Centre collaboration: Replacement for IndiumTinOxide (ITO)
Within the DPI technology areas Performance Polymers and Functional Polymer Systems, the respective partner companies selected two interconnected projects on the subject of dispersing Carbon Nanotubes into polymer matrices to be performed at Eindhoven University of Technology, one of DPI’s partner knowledge institutes. The projects had a multidisciplinary approach. One part was executed within Prof. Cor Koning’s group at the department of Chemical Engineering and focused on polymer chemistry. The other part, reflecting a theoretical physics perspective, was provided by Prof. Dr. Ir. Paul van der Schoot ‘s group at the department of Applied Physics.
The research was executed by PhD students Nadia Grossiord and Marie-Claire Hermant (together with Joachim Loos, Oren Regev, Jan Meuldijk, Bert Klumperman and Paul van der Schoot) and resulted in a number of DPI patent applications. Once it turned out that neither the partner companies of the technology areas, nor any of the other companies outside DPI could use the technology at this stage at that particular time for their business processes, DPI offered this set of patent applications to the DPI Value Centre.
• DPI 03.002 Arabian Nanotubes, International Publication Number WO/2004/072159
• DPI 05.013 Broad Nanotubes, International Publication Number WO/2007/121847
• DPI 07.004 Surftron, International Publication Number WO2009/033933
In the meantime, the researchers continued their work on this subject, and developed films composed of Carbon Nanotubes and latex particles as a replacement for IndiumTinOxide (ITO), which they published in Nature Nanotechnology. Indium one of the base elements of ITO is a scarce material used as a conductive and transparent layer in touchscreens for mobile phones and other flat displays, as well as in solar cells.
But - together with the DPI Value Centre - they discovered that, in order to turn this principle into a tangible business opportunity, more work had to be done. DPI Value Centre provided the funds to bridge this development project from ‘proof of principle’ to ‘proof of concept’ and the Polymer Technology Group Eindhoven, a 100% subsidiary of Eindhoven University of Technology, executed the project. A different production technology was developed, and a prototype film was produced that met the minimum conductivity and transparency requirements for the envisioned application.
This prototype film resulting from the development project initiated by DPI Value Centre, together with the patents originating from the DPI, is the perfect package deal to transfer the technology to companies. Now it is up to the companies to  show ‘proof of product’ and eventually ‘proof of sales’, thereby completing the four stages of successful valorisation.
PhD theses of DPI researchers (March - June)
Functional Polymer Systems
'Development of a charge transport model for white OLEDs’ Dr. R.J. de Vries
Large-Area Thin-Film Electronics
'Chemical vapor deposition of (in)organic layers' G. Aresta
New researchers
The following researchers have recently started a DPI project:
Cristian Grazioli
Lavinia Utiu
Timo Sciarone
Sara Maurelli
Sumant Dwivedi
Performance Polymers
Marek Prajer
Michel van Houtem
Oana Barsan
Bio-Insprired Polymers
Karel Wilsens
Rutger Knoop
Wouter Teunissen
Guus Frissen
DYFP Congress 2012 Kerkrade – poster prizes
The poster prizes sponsored by DPI were presented during the DYFP Congress on 4 April. The jury chose three winners: Yannick Nziakou (ESPCI, Paris), Juliana Bernal-Ostos (UCSB, USA) and Nicolas Candau (INSA, Lyon).
Annual Meeting and Polymer Innovation Day
DPI will be holding its Annual Meeting on 13 November 2012. This private event will be held at the same venue as last year, Theater Figi in Zeist, the Netherlands. In conjunction with the meeting, DPI Value Centre and DPI will be organising a joint Polymer Innovation Day on 14 November, which will be open to anyone interested in the subject of polymer-related innovation.
More information about these two events will be published at the beginning of September.
Polymer news
DPI and DPI Value Centre have opened a joint Twitter account: @Polymerennieuws. The account features frequent tweets in Dutch about developments and research in the field of polymers, as well as regular messages on the topic of plastic marine litter. The number of followers is growing steadily.
(Macro)Molecular Meeting
Since Barry Sharpless introduced the concept in 2001, click chemistry has led to a paradigm shift in the construction of functional (macro)molecules. Although all the formerly enunciated criteria are not always met, the fact remains that modular ligation methods have become a new toolbox for synthetic chemists in fields as varied as medicinal, bio-organic, and macromolecular chemistry. Thanks to these modular approaches, it has not only been possible to develop easier and more efficient routes to common materials, but also to generate very advanced materials. In combination with long-familiar techniques, such as polycondensation or peptide synthesis, as well as more recent methods, such as macromolecular engineering, protein engineering, and DNA modification, new materials exhibiting complex design and with the ability to perform enhanced function are being developed.
These advances would not have been possible without the dedicated work of generations of doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers. The (macro)molecular meeting provides ample opportunity for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to showcase their work in oral as well as poster presentations, flanked by keynote lectures from some of the leading polymer and bio-organic chemists. Read more
25-29 June: Cosi2012
16-19 September: Polycondensation2012
13 November: Annual Meeting DPI
14 November: Polymer Innovation Day
3-4 December: Belgian-German (Macro)Molecular meeting ‘Advanced Materials by Modular Strategies: From Synthesis to Industrial Applications’ www.MacroBeGe2012.org
More external meetings can be found on our website: www.polymers.nl
For the internal meetings please see the DPI intranet.
General polymer news
McDonald's studies replacement for PS cups
McDonald’s Corp. may have found a recyclable alternative to its polystyrene foam beverage cups, Plastics News has reported. About 2,000 of the company’s restaurants, mainly on the West Coast of the US, will be testing a double-walled fiber hot cup in an attempt to phase out the usually landfill-bound foam cups, according to a press release. McDonald’s said the objective of the pilot project is to assess customer acceptance, operational impact and overall performance.
The planned switch comes in response to a shareholder resolution filed in 2011 by As You Sow, a non-profit organisation that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building and legal strategies.   
Lighter than water
Demand for lightweight construction systems in the automotive industry is now at an all-time high, with a view to cutting fuel consumption, costs and CO2 emissions. According to VCD Verkehrsclub Deutschland, reducing the weight of a vehicle by 100 kilograms lowers fuel consumption by 0.5 liters over a distance of 100 kilometers and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 kilograms over the same distance. Lightweight structures are now more important than ever given the trend toward future-oriented drive technologies such as electric mobility.

Bayer MaterialScience has already developed a wide range of energy-efficient polyurethane materials for the automotive sector. At UTECH 2012, it is going one step further with the presentation of the Bayflex® RIM Light Weight polyurethane system that can be used to further reduce the weight of finished components by up to 30 percent. With a density of just 0.9 kilograms per liter, this material is even lighter than water.
How new, ’super’ materials are influencing product design
Ultra-light, ultra-durable, or otherwise ultra-efficient materials are increasingly influencing product design. Some companies, such as Rolls Royce, are forming mixed teams of designers, engineers, and production staff so that they can work efficiently together as they research innovative new compounds and substances, such as a nickel-based “super-alloy” that resists damage.
The Economist reported on this development in a piece entitled 'Forging Ahead' that was featured in the magazine’s special report on manufacturing and innovation (in the April 21-27 print edition). The story offers a number of brief narratives of how companies are designing (and designing with) new materials as the starting point for product invention. In the past, The Economist observes, designers would have ideas and then find the appropriate chemicals, metals, plastics, and other substances to make them real. Now, companies are increasingly developing designs alongside the actual creation or tweaking of the materials themselves.
ECO Plastics and Coca-Cola open £15m recycling joint venture
British environment minister Lord Taylor has officially opened the £15m Continuum Recycling plant in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, describing the joint venture between Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) and ECO Plastics as 'an innovative partnership'.
Taylor said the venture, which is set to last 10 years, was 'the sort of thing the government wants to see' in terms of manufacturing and wealth creation, 'bringing new jobs and growth to the area, while helping to save precious resources'.
The plant, said to be the world's largest and most sophisticated plastics recycling facility, will be capable of processing 150,000 tonnes of mixed plastics a year, including 40,000 tonnes of bottle-grade rPET.
BASF acquires Mazzaferro polyamide polymer business (Brazil)
BASF has announced that it has acquired the polyamide (PA) polymer business of the Mazzaferro Group in Brazil, thereby further strengthening its position with regard to engineering plastics and polyamide polymers in South America. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.
The transaction comprises the site and production facilities for the PA 6 product range, as well as engineering plastics compounds at São Bernardo do Campo in the metropolitan area of São Paulo. The polymerization plant has a capacity of roughly 20,000 metric tons per year. Around 100 employees will transfer to BASF. Mazzaferro’s monofilaments, fishing equipment and household products businesses are not part of the transaction and will continue their operations at the Diadema and São Paulo production sites.
DPI Value Centre: Innovation in polymers
In 2007 DPI  started the DPI Value Centre. The DPI Value Centre is an independent foundation supporting companies with their innovations in the field of polymers. With the support of our network of partners in the manufacturing industry and the research community (multinationals, SMEs and knowledge institutes), we can work in finding solutions to topics. Our experts can provide advice on polymers, but also on a wide range of other disciplines, from product and process development to marketing, patents, finance and grants. Thanks to our close ties with DPI we are constantly aware of opportunities in the polymer sector.
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