Moonshot & Catalisti

Given the crucial role that chemicals and plastics play in reducing CO2 emissions and in providing other sectors with the necessary solutions to make their products and processes more sustainable, the Flemish government mandated Catalisti, the spearhead cluster for the Flemish chemical and plastics industry, to take the lead in putting the Moonshot initiative into practice. Catalisti’s proven track record in bringing industries and knowledge partners together as well as in setting up project consortia also contributed to this decision.

In 2018, Catalisti started to develop the strategic agenda for the Moonshot initiative in synergy with the other Flemish spearhead clusters. It organised a survey among its industrial members to collect in-house long-term innovation roadmaps and to consolidate the needs of the sector. On this basis, Catalisti developed the Moonshot initiative into more detail.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 23 March 2019, the Flemish government officially mandated Catalisti to host the Moonshot initiative and to develop it in terms of organisation, operation, substance and strategy. In the same year, a governance structure was set up for the Moonshot initiative, a Moonshot budget was allocated and the first Moonshot project proposals were approved. At this moment, the Moonshot took off!

Close cooperation with other spearhead clusters

In setting up and carrying out the Moonshot initiative, Catalisti closely cooperates with the other Flemish spearhead clusters: De Blauwe Cluster, Flanders’ FOOD, Flux50, Medvia and VIL

The high-level targets of Moonshot can only be achieved when all unique knowhow, independent from the related industrial application, can contribute. As such, the expertise required to realize the necessary breakthroughs can originate from all fields: from food technology over material science and marine technology to logistics and energy innovation. In this respect, the Moonshot research trajectories (MOTs) are dockings stations for all relevant expertise.

Close cooperation across clusters, sectors and industries will ensure that breakthrough technologies are efficiently and effectively adopted across the Flemish industrial landscape. This way, cross-sectoral synergies and spill-overs can be fully exploited.

About the Flemish Cluster Policy

Putting an industrial innovation programme into practice requires close cooperation between industrial players. The Flemish government therefore identified its cluster policy as a potential starting point for the Moonshot initiative. Within the Flemish cluster policy, innovative corporate networks and so-called spearhead clusters set up projects and partnerships that allow companies, universities and other renowned research institutes to develop breakthrough technologies, products and processes. In these innovation networks and clusters, stakeholders throughout the value chain tackle problems, develop solutions and create added value for the Flemish industry. This is exactly the collaborative context that can catalyse climate ambitions into climate action.