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DSM opens new Biotechnology Center in Delft, the Netherlands, expanding R&D capabilities for food applications

Delft, NL, 03 Apr 2017 08:00 CEST

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, today opens a new state-of-the-art biotechnology facility at its site in Delft that will expand its research and development capabilities in fermentation and biotechnology for food applications. The completion of this new Biotechnology Center is part of a €100 million investment program by DSM to scale up R&D in the Netherlands since 2013. The center, which offers the broadest range of biotechnology specializations under one DSM roof, builds on a solid history of nearly 150 years of fermentation and biotechnology innovation in Delft, the Netherlands.
Rosalind Franklin Biotechnology Center (artist's impression)

Located on the DSM site in Delft, where DSM Food Specialties is headquartered, the new center brings together over 400 highly-skilled scientists from around the world who conduct breakthrough research in advanced fermentation technology, processing, genetics, analytics and food technology.

DSM Food Specialties is a leading global supplier of food enzymes, cultures, bio-preservatives and taste ingredients that enable the food industry to answer consumer demands, such as the desire to reduce sugar in foods, the wish to improve digestive health and the need for an excellent taste experience. Its R&D activities and customer-focused development efforts are directed toward finding answers to the identified and as yet uncovered needs of food and beverage producers worldwide, responding to critical megatrends such as the desire for healthier foods, urbanization, a growing population, the need to reduce waste, and clean and clear label, which are shaping the food industry.

Speaking at the grand opening of the new facility, named the Rosalind Franklin Biotechnology Center, Ilona Haaijer, President of DSM Food Specialties, commented: “At DSM Food Specialties, we believe passionately in our purpose of enabling better food for everyone. Every day, our R&D colleagues work in close partnership with our customers to make their food products better. Being able to draw on the expertise here at the Biotechnology Center, where molecular scientists and fermentation experts work hand in hand with application specialists to develop new and unique ingredient solutions and production aids for the food industry, is a tremendous asset. This is a wonderful R&D facility to have on our doorstep as the hub in our global network.”

One example of a breakthrough innovation is DSM’s development of fermentative steviol glycocides —the reduced-calorie, sweet-tasting molecules in the Stevia plant— as an answer to the growing global demand for sugar-reduced food and beverages. DSM’s fermentation know-how helps meet this global growing demand for steviol glycosides of a high purity and reliable quality that are sustainably produced. The development phase is well on track and DSM expects commercial availability by the end of 2018.

The new center, which officially opens on 3 April 2017, employs 400 bright scientists from 27 nationalities. The state-of-the-art facilities make use of the latest advances in laboratory robotics and automation to expand R&D and food application development. Its location at the heart of the Biotech Campus Delft allows DSM to rapidly scale up promising food applications for customer validation and commercial roll-out.

DSM’s Biotechnology Center will be named the Rosalind Franklin Biotechnology Center in honor of pioneering scientist Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), whose extraordinary work during a tragically short life and career significantly contributed to our understanding of the structure of DNA, effectively creating the basis for modern biotechnology. By honoring Rosalind Franklin, DSM pays tribute to all female heroes of science.