New polymers labs for Brightlands Materials Center

TNO and Limburg facilitate expansion of research centre for polymer materials and applications • 27 Feb 2019

With the opening of the new office and lab facilities on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus on Wednesday 27 February, Brightlands Materials Center has taken a new step in its fledgling existence. The new facilities in Geleen, comprising an area of 850 m2, will accommodate 40 researchers and students who are researching new polymeric materials and their applications. Brightlands Materials Center is a joint initiative of TNO and the province of Limburg.

Collaboration and growth

At the brand new Brighthouse 220 on the innovation campus, the official opening of the facilities was performed by Limburg’s Provincial Executive representative for Economic Affairs and Knowledge Infrastructure, Joost van den Akker, and Chairman of the TNO Executive Board Paul de Krom. Together, the province and TNO provide a significant part of the funding of this research centre for new polymeric materials and their applications. Brightlands Materials Center has grown a lot since its establishment in 2015 and, thanks to its innovative research, has now actively drawn in more than 60 partners from the research world and industry.

Attractive results


Fotograaf: Jos Sporck

The research focuses in particular on the sustainable applications of materials, thus contributing to the challenging climate objective of limiting CO2 emissions. The centre has already achieved striking results in three mission-driven programmes: a coating for the windows of houses and buildings has been developed that selectively keeps out the heat radiation of the sun in hot weather, while in cold weather all of the sun’s power is allowed through to heat the house. A technology has been developed to use 3D printing to make extremely strong spare parts, leading to much more efficient logistics. Together with regional SMEs, a testbed has been developed to make lightweight composite materials for greater sustainability in transport. In the short term, this testbed will be further expanded with a production environment of an additional 300 m2.

Commitment to a sustainable society and a knowledge-based economy

Fotograaf: Jos Sporck

Paul de Krom, Chairman of the TNO Executive Board: “Together, the province of Limburg and TNO are committed to actively contributing to a sustainable society through strengthening the knowledge economy. In addition to Brightlands Materials Center, TNO wants to further expand its activities in Limburg with a new centre for sustainable chemical processes, called Brightsite.”

Joost van den Akker, Provincial Executive representative for Economic Affairs and Knowledge Infrastructure of the province of Limburg: “These new labs for the Brightlands Materials Center mean a further boost for research on Brightlands Chemelot Campus and the intensive collaboration between TNO and the province of Limburg. Using these high-tech facilities, material applications for the future can continue to be developed and sustainably embedded in Limburg, something that can benefit us as a society.”


Drs. Maarten Lörtzer

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