At Berdal, we believe that collaboration, sustainability and innovation go hand in hand. After all, the plastics processing and development industry is obliged to answer questions about recycling, the reduction of plastics waste, circularity and working with bio-based raw materials.
In addition to participating in the Plastic Pact and the Reduce and Reuse working party, we have also been partners with the Polymer Science Park (PSP) in Zwolle for years. Since 2011, this foundation has been calling on existing knowledge, research resources and networks to find answers to questions within the field of applied plastics technology. These questions are ones that have arisen within governmental and educational institutions, as well as in businesses and the markets in which they trade.
Collaborating with entrepreneurs
PSP needed a new working method to work on the increasing number of questions posed by projects, before ultimately bringing these to market. As a foundation, PSP was facing the challenge of juggling projects that it wanted, but did not have the capacity, to develop. Bert Drenth, Operational Director of Dijkstra Plastics and partner of the Polymer Science Park: “PSP needed a new working method to give it the freedom to actively monitor projects and, where necessary, take the risks required to stimulate the level of innovation within the field of sustainability.”
At the beginning of 2019, the Director of the Polymer Science Park Mireille Kinket therefore started her search for entrepreneurs who wanted to contribute to the region, the plastics industry and the circular economy. She ultimately brought eight businesses together, whose ideologies are rooted in sustainability, to collaborate on the development of a new innovation platform: Dijkstra Plastics, Veolia, Demcon, Maan Group, Dijka, Wavin, RPP Kunststoffen and Berdal. Whilst all of these companies are linked to the plastics processing industry, they are all active in different markets.
On top of the resources that they bring, these shareholders also contribute their knowledge and entrepreneurship. After all, running a commercial business is very different to managing a foundation. Bart Oude Wesselink, General Director of Maan Group: “We want to act as a sparring partner for PSP and share our experiences in the world of business, without dictating what has to be done.”
Developing supply and demand in projects
Together with Mireille and the other businesses, we decided to set up a new company that would be responsible for commercial projects: PSP Projects. Mireille: “PSP benefits from a wealth of in-house knowledge of plastics and materials processing. We also act as the connection between government departments, experts and entrepreneurs. We speak the languages of all our participants. PSP Projects is therefore the ideal platform on which supply can meet demand, and we can get started.”
“By participating in PSP Projects, we are reinforcing our commitment to innovation and sustainability. This allows us to continue providing our customers with the most sustainable solutions we can, bringing us all one step closer to a circular economy.”
– Bas van Kamperdijk, General Director of Berdal
PSP Projects takes questions that arise in business and translates these into the foundations on which to build projects. Conversely, PSP Projects also signals new developments in the field that will pose challenging for businesses, such as recycling. Mireille: “We seize new insights and techniques and translate these into possible applications for participating companies. We also offer support during implementation, where necessary.”
PSP Projects’ first plans are currently taking shape. Over the upcoming weeks and months, we will be working together to develop this platform further, to make future-proof contributions to the plastics sector. Jan Leideman, New Business Development Manager at Demcon: “We first need to get to know each other better, to intensify our collaboration. And then a world of possibilities will open up.”