Innovation Mission China: Green Chemistry and Circular Plastics

Fons Klein TuenteCircularity, Sino-Dutch collaboration, Sustainability Leave a Comment

Are you active in the field of circular plastics, biobased materials or Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU)? Would you like to get a better view of what China means for your field of work? Connect with Chinese organizations to understand crucial developments, and explore opportunities for cooperation by joining the innovation mission to China from 9 to 13 September, 2024 (not including travel time to and from China).

Prior to the mission, an in-depth session will be organized for participants about doing business and cooperation with China, intellectual property rights and economic security.

Sign up

Would you like to participate in this innovation mission? Please register before 28 June via the online registration form:

Registration after the webinar on 2 July is also possible.

Information webinar (Q&A afterwards)

Tuesday 2 July, 9:00 – 10:00

  • Driving developments in China
  • Cooperation experience sharing from research and company perspective
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Open Q&A afterwards

Sign up by sending an email with your name and position to [email protected]

China’s role in green chemistry

Innovation and new technologies in the field of green chemistry play an important role in the transition to a climate-neutral and circular economy. China is the largest producer and consumer of chemical products worldwide. The Chinese chemical market has contributed to about half of global growth over the past two decades. It therefore considers the chemical sector as a key area for research and innovation, partly to achieve the climate objectives.

Opportunities for the Netherlands

The scale and speed at which the transition is being shaped in China is unprecedented. The country is known for its opportunities for scaling technologies to commercial formats. The Netherlands and China also have much to offer each other in the field of knowledge and technology development. China spends the most worldwide when it comes to research and innovation in chemistry. This was almost twice as much in 2022 as in both the EU-27 and the US. It is making remarkable leaps and is leading in some chemistry domains. China therefore offers extensive market opportunities for Dutch research institutes, businesses and for startups and scale-ups.


The mission can be of added value to the participant in the following ways:

  • Better understanding of developments (and what that means for your field of work) and opportunities in China through visits to various organizations
  • Build a diverse network of potential partners in China
  • A stage to highlight the organization to relevant stakeholders in China

For whom?

The mission focuses on companies, knowledge institutions and cluster organizations. Participants are for example directors, researchers, R&D managers or business development managers.

Innovation missions are small-scale. A maximum of 2 professionals per organization can participate, the number of participants is approximately 20. In case of an exceeding number of registrations we may have to make a selection. In that case, we look at, among other things, how your expertise fits in with the mission. After the registration period has closed, you will receive a final confirmation of your participation.


The programme is currently under development and will be tailored in consultation with the participants of the mission. Regarding the activities of the mission, this can include the following:

  • Visits to innovative industrial parks/companies and key knowledge institutions
  • Various networking and matchmaking moments with Chinese companies, knowledge institutions and government, both frontrunners and progressive SMEs
  • Organized dialogue with relevant Chinese experts to better understand developments and opportunities

The programme will consist of a plenary part, followed by theme-specific activities on biobased materials, circular plastics and CCU. The mission will highlight opportunities in China’s three innovative regions, consisting of the clusters around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Mission delegation members

Ongoing list of mission participants:

  • Jacqueline Vaessen, Chair of the Top Team at ChemistryNL (head of the delegation)
  • Karlo van Dam, Director of Sustainable Industry at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) & Member of the Top Team for Government Policy at ChemistryNL
  • Sandra Onwijn, Head of Unit for Circular Economy at Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W)
  • Tom van Aken, CEO at Avantium & Member of the Top Team for SMEs at ChemistryNL
  • Prof. Moniek Tromp, Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Groningen & Member of the Top Team for Science at ChemistryNL
  • Mark Schmets, Team Lead Sustainable Industry, Circular Economy and International Collaboration, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK)
  • Lara Engelfriet, Senior Policy Advisor Green Chemistry and Circular Economy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK)
  • Frank Groenen, Head of International Activities, TKI Green Chemistry and Circularity of ChemistryNL
  • Roos Havinga, Senior Policy Officer Circular Economy and Climate at Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W)
  • Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC)
  • Utrecht University
  • Eindhoven University
  • University of Groningen
  • Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam
  • Brightlands Chemelot Campus
  • National Growth Fund Programme Circular Plastics NL
  • Malvern Panalytical


The costs for participation in the innovation mission are €250 per person, excluding VAT. This includes participation in the collective program, transfers via road transport to and from programme components and the meals specified in the programme.

The flight tickets from the Netherlands to China and back, accommodation in hotels, any flights within China and all individual costs are at your own expense.

Want to know more?

For substantive questions, please contact:

Wielande Li: [email protected] (also with questions about developments in China)

For organisational matters, you can email the RVO Innovation Missions team: [email protected].


This mission is organized in collaboration between the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Netherlands Innovation Network in China (of the Netherlands embassy and consulates in China) and ChemistryNL (Top Sector Chemistry) will shape the intensive programme.

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