Dutch foundation and Hyflux agree on membrane research

A memorandum of understanding for research on advanced membrane separation technologies was signed on 23 June 2009 in Singapore between the Dutch Technology Foundation (STW) and Hyflux Ltd.

A new initiative proposed by the STW, the programme aims to stimulate more effective cooperation between academics and industry to create technological breakthroughs in inorganic membrane separation technologies that can accommodate applications with extreme temperatures, pressures and pH values. The programme’s broad direction will be set with industry input, and universities will be invited to submit PhD and post-doctorate proposals in an open tender.

These proposals will be jointly evaluated by qualified representatives of STW and Hyflux. Work will be carried out on selected proposals in both university and industrial laboratories in a practical environment under the guidance of university professors and industry staff. The first collaboration of its kind for Hyflux, the programme is expected to draw the best academic researchers in the Netherlands.

Administered by a team made up of representatives from a cluster of Dutch universities, Hyflux’s inorganic membrane R&D and technology commercialisation teams, the programme is expected to last 2-4 years. The budget of € 3 million will be co-funded equally by STW and Hyflux.

“There is an immediate need and huge market potential for membrane separation technologies in replacing costly and high energy-consuming distillation processes in petrochemical industries. In this respect, Hyflux is a natural fit as our partner as its proprietary inorganic hollow-fibre membrane concept is based on delivering cost-effectiveness while maintaining the typical compactness of polymeric hollow-fibre membranes,” said Dr Eppo Bruins, director of STW.