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DSM in Personal Care

Creating shared value through open innovation

Just as in our relationships with our customers, at DSM Personal Care our approach to innovation is based on creating shared value rather than on a more traditional transactional approach.
Creating shared value through open innovation

Collaboration matters. It means sharing a stake in the best technology with the maximum market reach, all developed at cutting-edge speed. Our highly ambitious program of innovation and collaborations involves cooperating with many people and institutions beyond DSM, enabling us to pick up ideas early and optimize the R&D process.

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Academia – the natural home of basic research

Universities have capacities for pure research that even a global company like DSM cannot match. But we can and do collaborate with universities across Europe and Asia in many areas of interest to both pure and applied science in skin biology.

In South Africa we joined forces with Sefako Makgatho University to investigate whether different ethnic groups have differing skin care needs. We discovered that not only are the facial skin hydration and skin barrier properties of Chinese, Caucasian, Indian and Black African female subjects immensely complex but that remarkable skin hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) gradients exist within short distances on different areas of the same face.

These findings have already been published and are now being translated into novel, customized solutions for ethnically differentiated hydration and anti-aging care.

World-class sensory training

It was to benefit from external expertise that we approached the US company Sensory Spectrum Inc. Sensory Spectrum, who we believe to be the best in the field, trained a panel of 15 certified sensory evaluators who are now an invaluable part of our R&D team. Their work is integral to our sunscreen development, as well as adding value to CORNEOCARE® formulations for holistic skin care.

Fermenting ideas

Access to the expertise of DSM’s recent acquisitions Microbia and Martek, both USA-based biotechnology companies specializing in microbial fermentation, is enabling us to accelerate our innovation activities in natural products and fermentation processes, expand our product portfolio and extend our research and development capabilities.

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Maintaining the originality and inventiveness of the personal care sector

DSM’s knowledge, resources and networks can in turn benefit smaller companies and start-up ventures. And in a world where safety regulations and legislation require R&D investments that few small companies can afford, access to our extensive expertise in claims substantiation and approval processes allows them to concentrate on what they’re good at: thinking outside the box.

By partnering with such companies to explore emerging markets and technologies we also enhance our own innovation and growth potential, establishing mutual benefits and learning opportunities.

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Innovative thinking promotes sustainability

As well as in-licensing to gain access to intellectual property generated by third parties, we create value by ‘out-licensing’ DSM technologies, either as part of a business model, or as value creation for idle IP.

In the interests of efficiency and sustainability, plant capacity not being used for cosmetics is made available to DSM’s pharmaceutical and materials arms, for example to produce non-cosmetic polymers. We even lease surplus peptide manufacturing capacities to other cosmetics manufacturers!

Just the kind of win-win situation that benefits people, planet and profit.