‘Innovative friends’

ECN is participating in the ISPT network in which businesses and knowledge institutes join forces to make process technology more sustainable. All participants make a financial contribution in advance, after which they jointly decide on the issues they wish to solve. As a result of this approach, the focus lies on the result rather than the commercial interests. This way, a collaboration develops that almost resembles a friendship and is very effective.

Tjeerd Jongsma, director ISPT:

‘Within ISPT we concretely shape the notion of Open Innovation. Industries from various sectors turn out to have the same questions. Yoghurt is edible and oil is not, but from a physical-chemical viewpoint the processes in the dairy industry and the petro-chemical industry run along the same lines. When it comes to increasing long-term sustainability, we more or less have the same goals.

I consider ECN to be a valuable partner in our network. The industry determines our direction.  Once that direction has been established, ECN will deliver a series of possible solutions and ideas based on the latest insights. It is an excellent source of knowledge in the field of heating system, separation technology and to an increasing extent bio-refining; open, active and working with a clear vision.

Our collaboration has certainly delivered some concrete products already, such as the HybSi membrane. At least as important, in my opinion, is the fact that ISPT is an active community, in which people intensively communicate with each other based on a shared interest. New deals are being closed and assignments are acquired, both within and outside of the Netherlands. This is how our joint Dutch knowledge is operationalised.’

Peter Alderliesten (ECN, Energy Efficiency in the Industry):

‘ISPT offers a platform where knowledge supply and demand meet. For ECN this is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with new partners. The universities offer us access to the most recent ideas, which we elaborate in collaboration with businesses. This is how we bring together science and deployment and develop technologies that truly make the process industry more efficient and sustainable. It requires an open and flexible attitude: we cannot straightforwardly run our own programme, but constantly need to return to the table.  Such a table where we meet on a regular basis is the only way to really shape open innovation.’

Visit the website of ISPT, the Institute for Sustainable Process technology.