We turn ideas into projects and innovation into inventions. Not only do we have ample experience in the building of consortia and the preparation of grant applications, we also coordinate large projects in areas of strategic interest and high relevance for us and our members.
CLIB is an international open-innovation cluster of large companies, small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), start- ups, academic institutes and universities, as well as other stakeholders active in biotechnology and the circular bioeconomy as a whole. In our non-profi t association, the members shape our cluster’s interests and activities, and we work to promote industrial biotechnology in sustainable processes. We are active since 2008 and have built a strong and trustworthy network since then. Together with our members, we are putting our mission into practice: networking biotechnology – creating sustainability.
Our membership of over 100 organisations comprises an international share of about 25 % (see figure 1). We are based in Düsseldorf, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW): the chemistry and industry heartland of Germany, well connected to the neighbouring chemical regions of the Netherlands and Belgium. We do not see ourselves as a regional, but an international cluster, connected by a joint vision for biotechnology in a sustainable circular bioeconomy. We connect our members within and beyond the cluster to initiate new research and business projects. Our goal is to network stakeholders along and across value networks and to identify new opportunities.
To achieve this, we actively include diverse industries and markets such as biotechnology, chemistry, food and feed, home and personal care, textiles, and others into our network. At CLIB, we link feedstock owners with technology providers, processing industries, and consumer industries, and this is clearly reflected in our membership structure.
Vision & Mission
A good strategy is the basis of success, which is why CLIB renews the cluster’s strategy at regular intervals. After all, it defines the direction in which our cluster will develop in the next 3 – 5 years, which activities will be pursued, and where thematic priorities will be set. The foundation of our strategy is laid by our vision and mission statements, that read as follows:
CLIB, the Cluster Industrial Biotechnology, drives the transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy through its strong network.
As CLIB, we deliver value based on industrial biotechnology to all our members and other stakeholders via our strategic pillars. We work together across disciplines, sectors, regions, and nations to create sustainable products and processes.
The six strategic pillars mentioned in our mission statement are explained in the figure to the right. They show the scope of our work and the priorities we set.
The team at the CLIB office works to bring benefits to all the cluster’s members. Like all networks, we depend on our members, and can only act as an amplifier of your own commitment. We invite you to become involved in the network, share your innovations, and meet the other members.
The CLIB team is always ready to get in touch with you and discuss how we can support you – so don’t hesitate to contact us with your ideas or questions.
Structured Networking Process
With over 15 years of networking experience, CLIB has established a structured networking process to enable all our members to network within and beyond the cluster. In this way, we continuously initiate the formation of project consortia for R & D & I initiatives, also establishing contacts with investors or public funding bodies. We find the most promising partners for our members on regional, national, or international level – always having in mind their individual demands.
Our structured networking process consists of various building blocks, each having a specific target audience, information depth, and purpose: The member-exclusive CLIB Networking Day CND provides a platform for our new members to integrate themselves actively in our existing community. Our annual CLIB International Conference CIC showcases emerging trends and connects them to markets. Especially relevant topics are taken up and presented in greater detail during forum events, which usually are attended by 40 to 60 people (as in-person events) and up to 200 people (as online events) and are also seen as scouting opportunities for larger companies. They also involve non-members as input-givers. Roundtable meetings are held with a smaller group of about 10 to 15 invited experts; these meetings cover specific topics and build consortia, proceed to bilateral talks or result in new and promising project ideas. These can be supported in many ways by the CLIB team, finally leading to promising project proposals.
CIC & CND
Two big events form the framework for the CLIB year. At the beginning of each year, CLIB organises the large CLIB International Conference CIC, which provides our cluster members and all friends and partners of the CLIB network the opportunity to gain information about new topics and trends, and to exchange ideas about innovative technologies and methods. The conference also offers the possibility to meet face-to-face with the international CLIB family. Before each CIC, the CLIB team identifies the demands of their members and chooses innovative topics to focus on. The CIC provides an ideal platform for cross-sectoral communication and exchange between different industries and disciplines. Afterwards, CLIB analyses the most important topics discussed during the conference and uses this information when planning the subsequent forum events.
Each autumn, CLIB invites all its members to the CLIB Networking Day CND: get to know the other members of the network and meet old as well as new collaboration partners. In 2023, the CND will be held for the fifth time. As one can see, this member’s only event has been established as a permanent fixture in the CLIB event calendar.
Each of our forum events has a strong focus on a specific topic and offers a discussion platform that enables all participants to exchange new ideas. Forum events bring together members, but also include external stakeholders who provide an interesting addition and added value to the CLIB network. Topics cover broad fields such as food, feed, cosmetics, home care, or coatings and are discussed based on new technologies, feedstocks, or processes. More structural topics, like the support of start-up companies or education, can also be a subject. The presentations come from large companies, SMEs, or academia from the CLIB network and beyond. This ensures that at each forum event, the industry view, new technologies or business ideas, and also cutting-edge science are represented. The events are organised to cover the entire value chain, from feedstock suppliers via technology providers to chemical process industry and brand owners. Introducing cross-cutting topics makes these value-chains branch into value-networks. CLIB forum events are often organised as in-person events to promote the direct exchange between participants. However, we will also continue online formats to facilitate the participation of our international partners and will use tools to facilitate interactions in the digital space.
Round Table Meetings
Roundtable meetings usually build on forum events and aim to develop concrete actions to initiate cooperation or collaborations, draft proposals, and projects. Available technologies, industry-relevant applications and cooperation partners are identified by the CLIB team, sometimes together with a CLIB member. Subsequently, discussions are organised in smaller rounds to support the early stage of a direct cooperation. CLIB can act as a mediator of such meetings, highlighting topics, and directing discussion partners in a target-oriented way. Due to the large basis of trust between our members and us, this often happens without an NDA.
Actors interested in a concrete project idea can be supported by the CLIB team in the formation of consortia, the more precise specification of a topic, or in the identification of suitable funding opportunities for new project ideas. Finally, we can support the newly formed consortium when writing the proposal to apply for public funding.
Within an R & D & I project, CLIB can …
- Support you in drawing up the consortium agreement through the expertise in the CLIB team and in the network;
- Foster the internal communication between the project partners (academic partners, industry, SMEs) and the external communication to stakeholders from the bio-based sector, society, and policy makers by the use of diverse channels (e. g. website content, social media, meetings);
- Spread the innovative outcomes achieved within the project;
- Exploit the project results, e. g. by the assessment of technology transfer models, market chances, and reference customers, or by helping to transfer these results to marketable innovations;
…help you make the most of your project!