Faces of FLIE: Allister Slingenberg (InnovationQuarter), Business Developer

The common thread in my work is my passion for sustainable development. At the beginning of my career I focused on EU energy and environmental policy as a consultant at Ecorys. It was essential to measure the economic and social impacts of EU directives. What if this policy is enforced? What are the costs and benefits? After my work in Brussels I started at the Port of Rotterdam. Here I gained a lot of experience with large projects in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy. An example was working on the Port’s residual heat system – supplying industrial excess heat to greenhouses and district heating networks. Within these projects I focused on creating opportunities for companies in the port area that could benefit from being part of the excess heat network. This knowledge of opportunity and value creation fits in very well with my new role for the Fieldlab.

Looking for the driver of change

An important part of my role is establishing discussion and dialogue in the market, from SMEs to multinationals, to discover the opportunities and manage the obstacles in building a sustainable industrial complex. It is essential to establish contacts throughout the value chain. These conversations help to organize change and activities on a demand-driven basis, instead of pushing technology. “What’s in it for us?” must be answered for every link in the value chain: from suppliers to entrepreneurs and technology users. The driver of change is often not just a matter of money, but rather of making the right strategic choices so that a company is more strongly positioned in the future.

The driver of change is often not just a matter of money, but rather of making the right strategic choices so that a company is more strongly positioned in the future.

License to grow

The port area has a ceiling on how many emissions can be emitted by industry. The industry will simply have to shut down if this ceiling is reached. Decoupling emissions from economic activity therefore gives us a ‘license to grow’. A sustainable future for industry requires drastic improvements in energy and raw material efficiency and extensive decarbonisation. By means of industrial electrification (also called Power-2-X), fossil-powered processes (oil, coal, natural gas) are replaced by electrically-powered processes in the industry (Power-2-Heat, Power-2-Gas / Hydrogen or Power -2 product). The Habour Industrial Complex is pre-eminently positioned to take a leading role in this drive towards a new elecro-chemical future. This is due to the infrastructure, the presence of major players from the petrochemical and energy industry and the excellent connection with the hinterland.

I see a future with port and industrial assets based on new value chains that are cleaner, more efficient and technologically advanced. Achieving something together that is future-proof.

The Silicon Valley of Electrification

My goal is to create real change. I see a future with port and industrial assets based on new value chains that are cleaner, more efficient and technologically advanced. Achieving something together that is future-proof.The knowledge that we have acquired – and will be able to acquire – can be exported internationally, just like the Silicon Valley of electrification. The fieldlab must become the preeminent example of successful electrification in the process industry.