United Nations

The United Nations predicts that the world population will have grown to 9 billion by 2050. With an urbanization rate of 1 million people per week and rising standards of living, this surging population goes hand in hand with an increasing demand for precious resources and growing concerns about climate change.

These demographic and ecological changes are accompanied by specific challenges related to access to water, materials, food, and energy, as well as waste cycles. The chemical sector has the tools to take on this global challenge to supply a growing world population with novel, sustainable, smart solutions for energy, coatings and functional materials.

Scientists can provide the solutions for our growing demands for circularity in processes and products. The chemical sector is able to produce new products by developing new building blocks and chemical transformations from the molecular level upwards, achieving new products with improved or novel properties, as well as new, more sustainable processes.

In order to provide the solutions envisioned to contribute to a more circular economy, it is necessary to reduce the challenges to a scale that all these challenges have in common: the chemical building block level. A building block is the basic component of or precursor to an energy carrier, coating or material.

The Advanced Research Center for Chemical Building Blocks, ARC CBBC, focuses on the science and technology breakthroughs needed to synthesize both new and existing chemical building blocks. ARC CBBC is a strong collaboration between industry and knowledge institutes, exchanging state-of-the-art knowhow, ideas, and infrastructures.

Within ARC CBBC, expertise will be integrated at every scale – from the atomic, molecular and macromolecular scale via supramolecular structures to the reactor scale – in order to tackle challenges simultaneously along different timelines and dimensional scales. The research center links pioneering science to complex industrial issues, potentially leading to vital breakthroughs to sustainably meet future demand for energy and materials.

β€œARC CBBC gives us a powerful instrument through which we can work continuously on research, development and innovation to reduce the environmental impact of our future products and processes.”  
-  Sibrand Poppema, President of the Executive Board of University of Groningen