Nobian moves research activities to University of Twente campus

6 September 2023

Nobian will be one of the new residents on the University of Twente campus. The company will move its research department from its current location in Deventer to Enschede next year.

CEO Michael Koenig: "Innovation is crucial for us. The innovative and inspiring environment of Twente University is exactly what we are looking for. We already work with the university on a regular basis. By actually being present on campus, the cooperation will definitely intensify further. Not only with the university, but also with other parties in the area."

Nobian plans to settle with about 20 researchers in The Gallery building, in the heart of campus. For Nobian's arrival, The Gallery is currently being expanded. Construction work for this has recently begun. 

The researchers deal with topics such as salt extraction, salt chemistry, electrochemistry and process technology, but also focus emphatically on topics such as sustainability and the energy transition. They thus support Nobian's ambition to become one of the most sustainable chemical companies in Europe. The company aims to be climate neutral by 2040. This will also contribute to sustainability in the region, including by electrifying the salt production in Hengelo. Many of the themes Nobian is focusing on are also in the focus of the University of Twente.

'Kennispark' as an innovative hotspot

Vinod Subramaniam, chairman of the University of Twente's Executive Board welcomes the arrival of Nobian. "A warm welcome to Kennispark Twente, especially to The Gallery on our campus. The arrival of Nobian reaffirms the appeal of Kennispark as an innovative hotspot, a place where entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and governments work together on socially relevant education, research and innovation in which high technology plays a major role. We wish Nobian every success with its R&D activities in its new environment, and many fruitful collaborations on and around campus."

Historical connection

Marco Waas, Nobians Director of R&D and Sustainability is also excited about the proposed move: "We are very much looking forward to it. It also feels like coming home. Nobian originated from the Royal Dutch Salt Industry (KNZ) and at the time they were one of the major advocates for the establishment of a university in Twente. With a history of more than 100 years, our roots are in Twente. The ties between the university and our company have always remained. It is great that, 60 years after the arrival of the first students, we are now further strengthening that relationship." 

Open innovation to accelerate toward sustainable society

For years, Nobian has been committed to accelerating the transition to a sustainable society through innovation. To this end, cooperation with other parties such as startups, companies in the area, universities/colleges and knowledge institutes is of great importance. Nobian and the University of Twente already collaborate in projects as part of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT). In addition, the company uses the facilities in the high-pressure lab to develop more efficient methods for chemical processes needed for sustainability. Furthermore, Nobian is one of the partners of the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge, which helps students take their ideas a step further, for example as a start-up. Nobian is also facilitating a part-time chair in the field of membrane technology, essential for the development of energy-efficient purification steps and electrolysis processes. 

Nobian in Twente

Nobian's history is closely tied to Twente. Hengelo is home to one of the largest salt plants in Europe. In total, salt mining activities in Twente directly employ about 400 people. Another 1,000 people are indirectly involved in salt production, such as suppliers, transport and maintenance companies, customers, as well as temporary employment agencies.

Nobian moves research activities to University of Twente campus