Royal DSM has announced that it is going to invest approximately €100 million in three new R&D facilities in Delft and Sittard-Geleen (both in the Netherlands) over the next two years. The investment confirms DSM’s commitment to the Netherlands, where the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company was founded over 110 years ago. The investment in Delft concerns a new laboratory for biotechnological research as well as a DSM contribution to the recently formed consortium for the Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF) for bio-research. In Sittard-Geleen a new materials sciences research building will be realized on the Chemelot Campus. Since the new R&D units will closely collaborate with knowledge institutes, government bodies and other companies (including SMEs), the investments will have a major impact on the strengthening of the Dutch knowledge-based economy, precisely in the fields that the Dutch government has designated as key top sectors for the future.
The laboratories in Delft and Sittard-Geleen are expected to open their doors in 2014. Some 700 researchers will be working there on innovative solutions to major global challenges in fields such as energy & climate and food & health. As such, the investments fit in with the Netherlands’ position as a front-runner in the field of sustainability.
The Delft-based DSM Biotechnology Center supports the innovation processes of DSM Food Specialties, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, DSM Biobased Products & Services and DSM BioSolutions. The new laboratory in Delft will house the R&D processes of the DSM Biotechnology Center, offering working space for 285 people and meeting the highest standards for biotechnological research. The province of South Holland contributes to the realization of the research building in the form of an agreement under which there will be scope for the development of an open campus on the DSM site. This will give biotech start-ups a place for rapid growth in the Northern part of Delft. A number of facilities in the new building will also be available to these companies. Besides realizing a new laboratory in Delft, DSM also is a partner in the recently opened ‘Bioprocess Pilot Facility’ (BPF) on the DSM site in Delft. This consortium, in which DSM, CSM/Purac and Delft University of Technology collaborate, boasts facilities for upscaling biotechnological processes that can be used for both R&D and educational purposes. The BPF is of key importance for upscaling fermentation and purification processes as well as for the pretreatment of vegetable residues to convert them into fermentation feedstock, for instance as used for second-generation biofuels.