Leading in innovative carbohydrate research
Carbohydrates play a large part in a healthy diet and are a source of new materials and chemicals. With strong industries in agrifood and chemical products around it’s no surprise the internationally renowned Carbohydrate Competence Center (CCC) is based in the Netherlands. CCC is an initiative of the University of Groningen and Wageningen University & Research. Since the start in 2008, 4 research programs have already been completed, representing a budget of €34 million. Currently, three research programs are under implementation, with a total budget of €10 million, half of which is financed by industries. Two of these research programs are part of the NWO-CCC partnership. In this partnership NWO provides CCC consortia with a 50% subsidy.
CCC has a mission. It wants to generate, develop and share high-value knowledge in the field of carbohydrates, to promote innovation worldwide and contribute to healthy and sustainable societies.
Fundamental, demand-driven and precompetitive
CCC research is always about the synthesis, modification and/or breakdown of carbohydrates and has two key areas of focus:
- Carbohydrates for Nutrition and Health– slow and low carbs, prebiotics
- Carbohydrate Conversion and Processing– carbohydrate extraction from biomass and conversion to biochemical and/or biomaterials: Biobased Economy.
CCC research is demand-driven, fundamental and in the precompetitive phase so that industries feel free to participate. The CCC management develops private-public partnerships (ppp’s) in which industries work together with knowledge institutes. These partnerships with mostly 10 to 12 research positions also allow a multidisciplinary approach. Recent CCC programs proved to be very productive in developing instruments for creating new, carbohydrate-based products and processes. Either focusing on a healthy diet for humans and animals or on biomass-derived materials and chemicals. Funding is realized by private funding by industries (up to 50%) and government subsidy, for instance NWO or Topsector funding.
CCC generates competitive power worldwide
If you are looking for new products and/or processes you will find CCC research results are an excellent start for your R&D specialists to work with. Investing in CCC research opens up international opportunities for your business or organization in socially relevant sectors such as growing old in good health (Healthy Ageing) and efficient use of ‘green’ raw materials (Biobased Economy). Application of CCC knowledge, furthermore, strengthens the leadership and competitive power of the Dutch AgriFood industry worldwide, both in general and particularly in the potato, sugar and dairy processing industries.
As an open organization, CCC welcomes new partners with knowledge and a desire to innovate in carbohydrates-related areas.
CCC also contributes actively to the dissemination of (new) knowledge about carbohydrates within and outside the CCC network. CCC organizes a symposium twice a year to present results of running research programs and give the floor to renowned researchers on carbohydrates. But CCC also sponsors important meetings. An example is the biennial Summer Course Glycosciences, organised every other year by FLAG Graduate School of Wageningen University and research institute GBB of the University of Groningen. A second example is the Starch Round Table, also organized every other year that has become international in character.