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Empower Green Chemistry Workforce by Fermentation

Noord-Brabant, with over 850 chemical companies and 25,000 related jobs, is the largest chemical site in the Netherlands. Despite its economic success, it is clear that the chemical industry also contributes to climate change and environmental pollution. It is high time to transition from fossil-based chemistry to a more sustainable form: green chemistry. But is the regional labor market ready for this? The FermiChem project aims to address this through education and training, a new lab, and support for start-ups. All with a focus on green technology: smart fermentation.

Smart fermentation uses microorganisms like bacteria and fungi to sustainably produce building blocks for products and materials. Why is this considered green chemistry? Smart fermentation can use waste streams from the agro-food industry as raw materials. This means waste can be converted into valuable products, contributing to a circular and biobased economy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, the process has less environmental impact compared to traditional methods, helping to reduce pollution and energy consumption. In short, it is a promising technology.

Strengthening the Labor Market

One of the primary goals of FermiChem is to improve the regional labor market through targeted education and training in fermentation technology. The project will provide learning opportunities for vocational students, job seekers, researchers, teachers, and company employees. Through side-by-side learning and on-the-job training, the partners of FermiChem aim to increase the employability of both existing and new workers. This will be achieved by providing hands-on experiences that are vital for the green chemistry sector.

New Lab and Startups

In addition to education and training, FermiChem offers startup support and a new co-creation lab designed to promote exchange and innovation in green chemistry. This lab will serve as a hub for knowledge institutes and SMEs to share expertise and collaborate, facilitating the growth of new and profitable businesses. The initiative aims to provide lab space and support, encouraging the development of new enterprises that will contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

Long Term

In the long term, the consortium intends to continually expand the infrastructure created by this project, providing sustainable solutions to regional challenges. By promoting an inclusive, community-centered approach, FermiChem hopes to secure a sustainable and prosperous future for West-Noord-Brabant, in line with the EU’s environmental goals.




FermiChem is funded by the Just Transition Fund program. The FermiChem consortium consists of a mix of SMEs, academic and applied research institutions, and an international research organization:​

  • Valorisatielab VARTA

  • Westerdijk Institute

  • VITO


  • BioscienZ

Learn more about the project:

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