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DSM executive Robert Kirschbaum awarded Giulio Natta Award 2010

Heerlen, NL, 21 May 2010 15:15 CEST

Royal DSM N.V., the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, is pleased to announce today that Robert Kirschbaum, Vice President Open Innovation at DSM, has been awarded the Giulio Natta Award 2010 in recognition of his contributions to innovation and the advancement of performance materials during an illustrious career spanning several decades in the chemical industry. The award, consisting of a cash prize of EUR 5,000 and a silver medal, was presented to Mr. Kirschbaum at a festive ceremony held at Ferrara (Italy) on May 15.

The Giulio Natta Award is named after Prof. Giulio Natta, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1963. Prof. Natta’s research, mostly carried out at the Ferrara Research Centre in Italy, led to the development of polypropylene, which heralded the era of plastic products. The prestigious Giulio Natta Award is granted annually to research scientists or innovators whose work has contributed substantially to improving the quality of life and has left a significant mark on society. An international Scientific Committee, chaired by Prof. Pietro Dalpiaz of the University of Ferrara, selected Robert Kirschbaum as the winner of the 2010 award. He is one of the few industrial scientists and innovators to win the award, which in previous years has mostly been granted to academic researchers.

Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer of DSM, commented: “We are extremely proud to have this award bestowed upon one of our innovation executives who is a pioneer of our Open Innovation approach. The recognition awarded to Rob Kirschbaum underlines DSM’s ongoing commitment to innovation and the contribution our people are making to innovative developments in the world.”

Robert Kirschbaum (58) obtained his Master’s degree from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and joined DSM in 1978. Over the past 32 years has held various positions in R&D, innovation and new business development at DSM. Currently he is Vice President Open Innovation at the DSM Innovation Center. He is a board member of several scientific and other organizations, including SusChem/CEFIC. He is a widely invited speaker at international conferences on innovation, a recent example being the Lux Executive Summit held in Cambridge, Mass., USA on April 25.

In its motivation, the Scientific Committee for the Giulio Natta Award 2010 commended Robert Kirschbaum for his pioneering work in shaping DSM’s Open Innovation approach as well as for his role – as innovator, new business developer and inspirational team leader – in the advancement of two of DSM’s most successful performance materials: Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber, and Stanyl®, an advanced high-temperature engineering plastic.