Opening CPNL call for proposals through NWO

2 minutes

Call open for research on technical innovations to make plastics circular
Because of the enormous diversity in the compositions of plastics, only 15 percent of the 1 million tons of plastics discarded in the Netherlands each year are recycled at high quality. This is an undesirable situation because of CO2 emissions and use of scarce raw materials. With the ambition to make the plastics value chains in the Netherlands fully circular by 2050, the Growth Fund initiative Circular Plastics NL has launched eight program lines. These contribute to solving material bottlenecks. The Incubator program line focuses on (scientific) research.

Call for proposals 2023 now open
The NWO call Making Plastics Circular: Technical Innovations allows for research into, among other things, developing materials and additives that facilitate the recycling process of plastics. It is divided into three themes:

Design of circular plastics

  • plastics development focused on design of plastics that can be used to make more recyclable products, e.g. improved barrier properties eliminating the need for multilayer materials
  • plastics development aimed at improved recyclability through mechanical, dissolution, chemical or thermo-chemical recycling (including reduced release of microplastics during these processes), e.g. through improved separation of additives
  • additive development aimed at extending the life of polymers, improved recyclability of plastics, reduction of release of microplastics
  • development of recyclable or easily removable pigments/colors, adhesives fillers and compatibilizers, which also remain functional and stable during their lifetime and ensure better recyclability of the plastic in which they are incorporated.

New characterization, Sorting and washing techniques

  • Developing high throughput characterization techniques for sorting to enable better, faster, and higher quality separation/sorting of mixed plastic waste streams and detection of contamination levels
  • developing algorithms and characterization techniques that can monitor the composition of mixed plastic waste stream by processing multiple signals (e.g. hyperspectral imaging) and thereby significantly improve sorting
  • exploring and developing in situ characterization techniques that can monitor quality in a recycling process and significantly improve sorting
  • developing dry and wet pretreatment and washing techniques (including detergents) that are more efficient and/or mitigate the formation of microplastics

New recycling techniques

  • "closed loop" recycling techniques with higher yields, more effective degradation kinetics of covalent bonds or selectivity than conventional techniques
  • recycling techniques that have a higher efficiency than conventional techniques, for example, through catalytic techniques (including photo-, electro-, and/or biocatalysis)
  • recycling techniques with high robustness against mixtures of waste streams with different contaminants and/or treatment technologies
  • more efficient and effective recycling processes by combining conventional recycling techniques used in tandem, for example, the combination of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis or enzymatic and homogeneous catalysis

Researchers and entrepreneurs working together
The Incubator Program of the National Growth Fund program Circular Plastics NL is conducting exploratory and foundational research. The research focuses on early developments of concepts (focus on TRL 1-4) with the potential for large-scale applications. Applications can be submitted by knowledge and research institutions and TO2 institutions focused on one of three themes (design of circular plastics, new characterization, sorting and waste techniques, new recycling techniques). The partial ceiling for each theme is €2,000,000. The maximum duration of the proposed project is five years.

This research program requires a minimum of ten percent of the total project budget as private co-funding. This mandatory co-funding may be provided either in cash or in kind by companies, enterprises or organizations that do not themselves apply in this NWO Call for Proposals. A maximum of € 600,000 can be applied for per application in this Call for proposals. NWO thus funds a maximum of ninety percent of the total project size. An application therefore requires at least ten percent of the total project size as co-financing.

The deadline for submitting applications is January 16, 2024, by 14:00:00 CET. Submission of an application is via ISAAC. More information can be found on NWO's website:

Inschrijven en direct netwerken via B2match
Op 5 oktober heeft Stichting Circular Plastics NL een netwerkomgeving op B2match geopend. U kunt profielen van de andere deelnemers bekijken en 1 op 1 afspraken maken met andere potentiële consortium deelnemers. U kunt >hier< deze omgeving verkennen en een profiel aanmaken.

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