Over €6 million for UT’s Perspective programme: lighter vehicles

7 April 2021

Over the next few years, the University of Twente (UT) consortium will be working on research into technological innovations with real economic potential that could help us to achieve a more sustainable world. The research project is known as: ‘Reducing CO2 emissions by making vehicles lighter’. UT scientists Remko Akkerman is launching this new research programme as part of the Perspective programme and has been awarded a grant of over €6 million.

Perspective is a programme that challenges scientists to establish innovative new lines of research that can have a genuine economic and societal impact. Consortia are then formed that involve partnerships with the business community and social organisations. The programme has been set up by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has made €22 million in funding available for it. A total of six consortia are being set up in the Netherlands, with 138 companies and social organisations contributing a total of €10 million of their own funding.

‘Reducing CO2 emissions by making vehicles lighter’
Programme leader: Prof. Dr ir. Remko Akkerman (Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente)
ENLIGHTEN ‐ Enabling Integrated Lightweight Structures In High Volumes

“The road to a sustainable world is long and strewn with obstacles. ‘Enlighten’ aims to help us to overcome one of those obstacles. Hopefully this comes at just the right time.” (quote Remko Akkerman)

Perspectief prize Prof. Remko Akkerman

The lighter a vehicle is, the less fuel it consumes and the less CO2 is emitted. Lightweight materials that are strong enough to ensure passenger safety are also popular among manufacturers of cars and aircraft. Thermoplastic composites – fibre-reinforced plastics that soften when heated – are light, strong, easy to work with and easy to recycle. Certain components in aircraft fuselages and wings are already being made from this relatively new material. However, they are not yet in wider use.
The aim of ENLIGHTEN is to find a way to produce reliable entire structures using this material (in a predictable, reproducible and cost-effective way).

Video ENLIGHTEN: https://youtu.be/o-HLcw1Rg5I

Participants: Airborne, Airbus, Aniform, Autodesk, Boeing, Boikon, Bosch, Cato, Composites NL, DSM, DTC, Engel, e‐Xstream, GKN/Fokker, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, JLR, KVE, M2i, Province of Overijssel, SAM|XL, SET Europe, Solvay, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, TNO‐BMC, Toray Advanced Composites, TPRC, University of Twente, University of Warwick, Victrex.

Six consortia in the Netherlands
The way in which the consortia are composed is particularly characteristic of the Perspective programme: the projects include all actors necessary to develop useable solutions in practice. The shared involvement of several universities in each project also strengthens the partnerships.

For further information, members of the press should contact: Janneke van den Elshout via e-mail: j.g.m.vandenelshout@utwente.nl.