Hybrid research group sustainable polymers

a joining of forces of theoretic and applied research

Campus Emmen is one of the first concrete results of our Knowledge Agenda. This is where professionals, students (vocational education, university of applied sciences, and universities), start-ups, existing businesses, government, and institutions work together on the development and application of new knowledge, innovation, and industry. The hybrid sustainable polymers research group is working to make the chemical sector more environmentally sustainable.


Campus Emmen is being developed by the UvhN members: NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Drenthe College, the University of Groningen (UG), the Province of Drenthe, and the Municipality of Emmen.

Utilizing the power of the region

In keeping with the strengths of the region – the manufacturing industry, green and other businesses in the chemical sector – Campus Emmen mainly focuses on making the chemical sector more environmentally sustainable, boosting the manufacturing industry, on energy and hydrogen, healthcare and wellbeing, and on technology. From the campus, students and researchers work together with the business community to ensure that new knowledge is developed faster and can be applied in practice. This way, the campus provides opportunities for businesses, attracts investments, and creates employment opportunities.

Recycling of polymers and composites

The Netherlands has a tremendous challenge when it comes to recycling polymers and composites. On campus, people are working hard to find solutions to this recycling problem, focusing mainly on making the chemical sector and its materials more sustainable. The Macromolecular Chemistry Department: New Polymeric Materials of the University of Groningen and the Sustainable Plastics and Circular Plastics lectorates of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences have joined forces in the first hybrid research group of the Netherlands: the Sustainable Polymers research group.

“The Netherlands has a tremendous challenge when it comes to recycling polymers and composites. Hard work is being done on Campus Emmen to find solutions to this challenge.”

For the development of new, innovative, and market-focused polymer applications that are also sustainable, the research group uses the testing ground location designed on Campus. Here, companies and knowledge institutions are brought together in a unique way, making testing, development, and the implementation of bio-based and recycling innovations possible. This helps speed up the development and market introduction of bio-based and circular polymers in sustainable applications.

Retaining and attracting talent

Due to the arrival of the Campus in Emmen, the chain of vocational teaching and research is boosted with the development of continuous learning paths (vocational education – universities of applied sciences – universities), the efficient use of facilities, and close cooperation with businesses and institutions.

Campus Emmen increases the appeal of studying in the region, including for international target groups. Ultimately, the Campus also ensures that talent is retained for the region, in part through close contacts with the business community.