Contract research & development

From idea to product

EMI Twente helps companies and research institutes to navigate the route from idea to commercial application. We focus on four key phases that align with the technology readiness level.

1. Feasibility study 

This takes the form of a desktop or short experimental study in which we identify the key characteristics of the market and the commercial viability of the proposed product or application (TRL 3). This phase is usually completed within one month.

2. Proof of principle

We perform a full technical validation in the lab, identifying all ins and outs of the product or process. This phase culminates in the proof-of-principle and generally takes between one month and a year (TRL 3). A typical project is the development of a first recipe for a new membrane.


We devote attention to the production process, reproducibility and further optimization of the performance of the membrane product for a specific application with clear target specifications from the client. Research results are compared to those of other membranes (benchmarking). This phase culminates in the production of a working prototype and first larger batch of membranes, and is generally between six months and two years in duration (TRL 4-5).

4. demonstration under industrial conditions

The product is subjected to extensive testing in a small pilot plant under actual operational conditions. Assuming it performs to expectations, the product is now ready for upscaling and market launch. This phase generally takes between three and six months (TRL 6).


Material properties analysis

We have extensive analytical facilities to fully characterize polymeric or ceramic membranes. A few techniques used include: porometry (for pores ranging from 0,5 to 3.000 nm in diameter), microscopy (optical, SEM and FE-SEM), high-pressure gas and vapor separation, water flux and membrane fouling analysis, ion-exchange (IEX) capacity and permselectivity measurements. A complete overview of our characterization equipment can be found here.

Customized equipment for industry

EMI Twente builds customized equipment such as lab scale spin lines, spinnerets and high pressure cells.

Consultancy and troubleshooting

EMI Twente has built up many years of consultancy and trouble-shooting experience.


What makes EMI Twente unique is the transfer of all IP rights directly to our partner.