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ISC group profile

Mission statement

To discover and develop new sustainable materials from biomass or CO2 with large-scale application potential - able to compete on cost and performance and with an improved “sustainability footprint”.


The main ISC team (monomer and polymer research) is located within one of the (industrial) research laboratories of Avantium. It is based on the second floor of building 408 (Matrix VI), next to the UvA buildings at Amsterdam Science Park. The PhD students in this field are working under the supervision of UvA and Avantium staff. Other research activities of the ISC group take place within the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences or in other UvA institutes such as the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics and the Psychology Research Institute.  

Principal investigators

ISC research is led by multiple UvA and Avantium PI’s:

  • Gert-Jan Gruter (industrial chemistry);
  • Robert-Jan van Putten (Avantium; organic chemistry, sugar chemistry, and polymer chemistry);
  • Bing Wang (Avantium; organic chemistry and polymer chemistry).

ISC PhD’s are also working in other groups and supervised by others such as

We work on processes for novel sustainable bulk chemicals from 'carbon above the ground', such as chemicals from biomass, CO2 and from chemically recycled polyesters (building blocks), their polymer materials (synthesis) and the development of applications in packaging (film, bottles), fibers and 3D printing (in-house). We are developing several polyester polymer types with a wide range of properties: high oxygen-, CO2- and moisture barrier, High Tg, soil- and marine degradability, slow ageing (developing ABS replacement for LEGO), mechanical properties, etc. 

Laboratory facilities

Our laboratories are located at the Science Park, building 408, Amsterdam. In this building we have 400 m2 of state-of-the-art labs and offices for the Avantium electrochemistry group and the UvA/Avantium monomer-polymer research group. In this group we perform the synthesis, testing and characterisation of sustainable building blocks and polymer materials.


The ISC team is collaborating with several groups at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, and at other science institutes within the faculty, such as the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics. In addition, ISC collaborates with other UvA faculties such as Social and Behavioural Sciences, other universities such as VU Amsterdam and Leiden University, and with national research institutes and NGO’s.

Industrial collaborations

We work closely with industry on several projects. Currently, we are collaborating with Avantium, LEGO, and several consortia of European companies and research institutes in Horizon 2020 projects on electrochemical conversion of CO2 to products (OCEAN) and lignocellulosic sugars to polyester monomers (IMPRESS).

Vacancies and recruitment policy

We're always looking for outstanding scientific talent. All our PhD and postdoc vacancies are always published online. If no vacancies are listed in the right bar, it means that no PhD or postdoc positions are available.