On July 7, 2011, the Open Innovation Center Advanced Materials (OICAM) was officially opened in Nijverdal, The Netherlands. This new innovation center is a network of companies and knowledge institutions, inside and outside the province of Overijssel, that focuses on sharing knowledge, research and development concerning high-grade materials and materials technology.
Through innovative research, the building of demonstration projects and trial productions, new materials and applications with exceptional characteristics will be developed and publicized. The goal is for the business community and knowledge institutions—such as the University of Twente and Saxion University—to quickly realize new product-market-technology combinations, stimulating the manufacturing industry in the region and attracting knowledge workers. In this way OICAM will close the gaps between idea, product and production, while also stimulating startups and spin-offs in materials technology. At least five concrete projects should be delivered in the coming two to three years.
Harnessing and reinforcing the regional innovative power of Overijssel companies and knowledge institutions will also benefit the regional business community and generate growth in employment. OICAM will focus explicitly on sustainable materials and technologies as well as on sustainable design.
The need for innovation is steered by market demand. Various small, medium and large Overijssel enterprises want to turn potential opportunities into concrete innovations. In addition the region of Twente and the province of Overijssel want to focus specifically on materials technology in numerous forms. Some inspiring projects have been initiated: the manufacture and application of naturally produced (synthetic) materials, the so-called biopolymers; the GreenSource demonstration project, where irrigation water for synthetic grass fields for recreational sports is cleaned with the aid of innovative filtration technology; and the development of sustainable nano-coatings for textile materials by the Academy of Life Science, Engineering and Design of Saxion University in Enschede.
Founding partners of OICAM are Province Overijssel, Applied Polymer Innovations Institute (API) and Royal Ten Cate. Affiliated partners in OICAM: API, Pentair X-Flow, the Academy of Life Science, Engineering and Design of Saxion University, STODT Toekomsttechniek, Royal Ten Cate, Oost NV and Regio Twente.