Polymer Technology Group Eindhoven
Polymer Technology Group Eindhoven (PTG/e) is an independent research institute that helps multinationals and SME owners with short and middle-term research questions related to polymeric, hybrid and biobased materials.
The core activity is applied research; the delivery of a proof-of-concept. PTG/e arose out of the plastics technology group at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, and since its inception has been a full subsidiary of TU/e Holding B.V.
Professor Piet Lemstra has been with PTG/e since the beginning. “The plastics technology group at TU/e often receives questions from industry related to polymeric materials,” says Jan van den Oever, manager of operations at PTG/e.
“Some enquiries are not interesting to the group due to the time required for the research study, the chair group's core activity, the type of researcher required, publications and IPR. This prompted Lemstra to suggest founding a research institute that operates between the department and industry. The institute processes enquiries, tackles research problems itself, and where necessary refers them on. This approach works excellently thanks in part to the chain of knowledge. Today 20 people work at our company, bringing a broad spectrum of educational level and background (chemists, physicists, materials experts, mechanical engineering and construction experts).
Although we are still a full subsidiary of TU/e Holding B.V., we stand entirely on our own two feet; we have our own infrastructure, lab and offices.” PTG/e helps companies with their polymeric/materials questions; from molecule to end product. “Our knowledge encompasses synthesis (from monomer to polymer), processing (from granulate to end product) and characterization (chemical and physical). Through intensive win-win collaboration with, in particular, the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, PTG/e has access to state-of-the-art equipment and a broad network of specialists; this is knowledge valorization avant la lettre.
“This approach means we stay abreast of the latest developments in plastics and materials. And our customers value that immensely.” As well as research studies that take a couple of weeks, PTG/e conducts research studies that take up to two years. “We are seen very much as an extension of an R&D department. We have a good team, with academically trained staff, each of whom has his or her own specialism. If we can't solve a problem together, we also have a network of national and international experts. This is how a chain of knowledge is created, and using it we can solve almost every direct and indirect research problem.”
Ever more companies (Dutch and foreign) know about PTG/e. At present, the research institute employs twenty people. Dreams for the future, oh yes, they exist. Van den Oever: “Expanding to some thirty-five FTEs. That would give us the scope to also do our own research and to publish, and thus to set up our own Areas of Expertise. Then we would attract customers and even bigger projects.”