DSM brightens up innovation

DSM has taken its transformation a step further with a bold corporate rebranding that focuses on science and innovation. The Netherlands-based company has moved steadily away from being a petrochemicals and chemicals producer, and is now focused on health, nutrition and materials, which it is driving ahead through a highly regarded innovation strategy.

The new brand has as its slogan “Bright Science. Brighter Living”. This is said to embody the philosophy that “DSM uses its science and innovation in partnership with its customers to create products and solutions that make a positive difference to people lives”.

With “Bright Science”, adds CEO Feike Sijbesma, “we mean the unique way in which we combine our Life Sciences and Materials Sciences disciplines, technologies and talents. In partnership with our customers we create innovative and sustainable solutions that address the key challenges facing society today.”



DSM invested $563m in R&D (5% of sales – well above the chemical industry norm) in 2009 but has also been espousing open innovation and venture funding to extend its innovation returns.

Last week it paid $790m to acquire Martek Biosciences, the US-based nutritional supplements producer. Martek produces omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for its nutritional oils by using a strain of algae. Martek currently has an algae technology pipeline that can be used for industrial biotechnology applications, but it does not have an existing business for it yet, said Stephan Tanda, managing board member of DSM responsible for the life sciences, nutrition and pharma businesses in the Americas.

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