DPI has formed partnerships with institutes in two of the BRIC countries: China and Brazil. From January 2013, DPI will be collaborating in projects with the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, and with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil.
The CIAC is DPI's first academic partner in China. The institute is joining DPI's Coatings Technology programme as a partner. Over the next five years, between five and ten PhDs and Postdocs will be working on the ‘Preparation and Characterisation of Model Waterborne Clearcoats' project under the supervision of Professor Yongfeng Men. The aim of the project is to develop new methods of preparing waterborne resins, as well as methods of monitoring and characterising the drying process. What makes the project unique is the combination of the investigation of structures using synchrotron radiation and the study of the organisation of particles using light scattering. Dr. Joris Sprakel of Wageningen University will provide the expertise for the latter aspect of the research. During the preparation of the resins, nano particles are used to stabilise the resin in water.
At the beginning of this year, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), DPI and Brazil's CNPq formed a partnership to carry out five projects. The research will be carried out by eleven PhDs and two Postdocs as part of an exchange programme. The five studies will focus on developing and finding applications for biopolymers and polyolefins. The venture marks the first time that a Brazilian institute joins a public-private partnership. The students from CNPq will conduct part of their research at research institutes affiliated to DPI.
International Centre of Excellence in Polymers
According to Jacques Joosten, Managing Director of DPI, the contacts with these two countries are very important for the institute's partners. "Cooperation with these rapidly growing economies is crucial for achieving DPI's ambition of becoming an ‘International Centre of Excellence in Polymers'. Demand for polymers in China has grown explosively in recent years. The country's research institutes and companies are eager to collaborate with partners in the West in order to increase and share their knowledge in the relevant fields and expand their networks. This applies equally for DPI's Western partners that have operations in China or plans to develop activities there. Brazil has an enormous pool of knowledge and experience regarding the use of biomass-based commodities. Because of the pace of economic growth, the country is engaged in an intensive search for new products with a higher added value. Here too, we can create a win-win situation for the partners in the developed countries and participants in Brazil. Both BRIC countries are convinced that the DPI approach of promoting cooperation between companies and knowledge institutes is unparalleled and are eager to join this international platform. Both countries will make substantial financial contributions to the joint projects."