Catalisti, the chemistry and plastics spearhead cluster, celebrates first anniversary


Exactly 1 year ago was the official launch of the first chemistry and plastics spearhead cluster under the name Catalisti. 

Antwerp - 19 December 2017 - Exactly 1 year ago was the official launch of the first chemistry and plastics spearhead cluster under the name Catalisti. Flemish Minister for Innovation Philippe Muyters shaped a new innovation and cluster policy in 2016 to encourage strategic cooperation between companies, sectors and researchers. The days of 'vivons heureux, vivons cachés' are behind us. Those who want to innovate successfully must look over the wall and collaborate with other partners. The goal? Significantly increase the economic impact of innovation in the coming years.

Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation: "A year ago I challenged you as Catalisti to ensure that companies work together on the future. Not an easy task, but you took up the gauntlet from day one. You started looking for companies that wanted to co-invest and participate in an open innovation principle. The step Catalisti has taken is the right step. This way, Catalisti will create, not only for itself, but for all member companies, enormous added value." 

Jan Van Havenbergh, managing director Catalisti: "Catalisti responds to societal challenges such as circular economy, climate and bio-economy. This year we have launched 17 new innovation projects, together with our partners, that both provide solutions to these societal challenges and create economic added value for Flanders. For the Flemish chemical and plastics industry, this is a great success." 

Cooperation as key to success 

The Spearhead Cluster Chemistry and Plastics is a triple helix partnership between Flemish industry, the Flemish government and Flemish research institutions. Within Catalisti, cooperation is the key to success. Not only cooperation between the triple helix partners, but also cooperation between the different subsectors such as (basic) chemistry, plastics, biotechnology, and finally also cooperation between companies themselves. 

Experience has shown that working according to the principle of open innovation delivers results and creates a leverage effect.  And Catalisti proves this once again with the results of its first year of operation: no fewer than 17 innovation projects were launched. Government and companies jointly invested 13.5 million euro in Catalisti. Of this, 12.7 million euros as subsidies went to Flemish knowledge institutions (9.8 million euros) and Flemish industry (2.9 million euros). Catalisti is also strongly committed to involving SMEs. As much as 46% of the business subsidies went to SMEs.

This investment of 13.5 million euro generated an estimated economic added value of more than 319 million euro, including 643 additional job creation and 247 million euro in new investments in Flanders. This means that Catalisti achieves an economic leverage of 30 with its operation. A trend that Catalisti wants to continue and even reinforce in the coming years.