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The Amsterdam Chemistry Network (ACN) has recently been expanded with Argent Energy, manufacturer of biofuels in the Port of Amsterdam. Its CEO Erik Rietkerk has taken a seat on the ACN Board of Directors where the University of Amsterdam is represented by Joost Reek, professor at the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences. Reek welcomes Erik Rietkerk: “We are delighted that Argent Energy is joining the board of directors, as this provides direct input from the business community in the sustainability area”.

The University of Amsterdam is a founding member of the ACN partnership, together with Port of Amsterdam, Matrix Innovation Center, ChemistryNL and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The network has its origin in the Innovation Lab Chemistry Amsterdam (ILCA) which was established in 2013 as an ‘iLab’ at ChemistryNL. The partners decided to expand ILCA into a strong regional network supporting collaborations among chemistry professionals (both from research and businesses) and providing contact to chemistry talent. Earlier this year this resulted in the rebranding of ILCA into Amsterdam Chemistry Network.

The university's Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) continues to be a valuable partner committed to making ACN a success in many ways, e.g. in managing communications with external parties in case of subsidy applications, and in the organization of events – notably, the Amsterdam Chemistry Innovation Day (ACID) held at the HIMS premises. Joost Reek: “Already during the start-up phase it became clear that ACN provides an important network function in the region and we are delighted that Argent Energy is joining the board of directors as this provides direct input from the business community in the area of sustainability. Society is facing huge challenges in the area of sustainable chemistry and energy, and with ACN we can connect the relevant regional partners to address these challenges. We can bring the academic community and the industry together to work on innovations that have impact, making the sustainable chemistry research carried out by our institute more relevant for society. We of course would like to continue to grow to also increase the relevance of the research. And we aim to offer opportunities for  Amsterdam chemistry researchers and chemistry students in other areas of science, including health”.

Solutions for global challenges

Argent Energy produces sustainable second-generation biodiesel from designated waste raw materials, with the goal of reducing GHG emissions of the transport industry. This is a great example of sustainable chemistry applied in business. “We believe that a strong regional chemistry network will help companies achieve their goals of contributing to solutions for global challenges,” says ACN director Mr. Willem Fokkema. “In addition, we believe that active clustering of the chemical industry in the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam will attract more innovative companies, regional funds, foreign investments, and international talent.” Fokkema says Mr Rietkerk brings the voice of an industry leader and expects his participation in the board “to make ACN’s growth increasingly more solid and our combined strategy more significant for Amsterdam.”

Amsterdam Chemistry Network is a partnership of currently six leading parties in chemistry (research and industry) in the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam, including Argent Energy, ChemistryNL, Matrix Innovation center, Port of Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and  VU Amsterdam. The mission is to promote and support innovation by creating stronger connections among the professionals of the field. Next to the gold members, sitting in the Board of Directors, the network offers its services to Silver and Bronze members as well. More information at