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DSM CTO Marcel Wubbolts named European CTO of the Year 2015

Sittard, NL, 16 Oct 2015 10:00 CEST

Award recognizes the most prominent European leaders of technology-based growth

Royal DSM, the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, is proud to announce that DSM Chief Technology Officer Dr. Marcel Wubbolts has been named European CTO of the Year 2015. The prestigious award is annually bestowed by the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA) and Spinverse, the Nordic leader in innovation consulting.

(l-r) Carlos Härtel, Director GE Global Research Europe, EIRMA President & Jury Member, Dr. Marcel Wubbolts, CTO of Royal DSM & Dr. Laura Koponen, Managing Director Spinverse Innovation Management

Marcel shares the honor of CTO of the Year in the Large Corporation category with Professor Martin Curley (Ireland), founder of Intel Labs Europe (UK). Jonathan O’Halloran (UK), co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of QuantuMDx, was named CTO of the Year in the SME category. The three winners were announced and received their awards during a ceremony on Thursday 15 October in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The European CTO of the Year was established to promote the importance of technology and innovation for Europe’s future, and especially the crucial role of technology leadership in this. The eight-strong international jury was chaired this year by Professor Yrjö Neuvo. Currently research Director at Aalto University, Professor Neuvo was CTO at Nokia and member of the Group Executive Board from 1993 to 2005.

“The European CTO of the Year Award is a unique way to recognize outstanding individuals whose vision and passion have made a big difference in keeping their companies at the forefront of innovation,” says Dr. Carlos Härtel, jury member and Director at GE Global Research Europe. “All the winners have shown exemplary leadership as technology managers. We’re happy and proud to recognize them for their impressive accomplishments.”

The European Commission’s Director General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits, emphasized earlier the importance of such recognition. “Europe needs to celebrate those who advance technology and innovate. Initiatives like the ‘CTO of the Year Europe’ award are very welcome, as they lead to role models and further strengthen innovation in Europe.”

Nominees for the European CTO of the Year must fulfill key criteria in terms of the nature of the company they work for (technology- and innovation-driven), the personal value that the nominee adds through communication, leadership and inspiration, and the sustainable benefits that the company and nominee are together delivering to society as a whole. For 2015, there were dozens of nominees from all across Europe.

As DSM CTO, Dr. Marcel Wubbolts is globally responsible for DSM’s Bright Science activities that are carried out across more than 30 R&D locations by around 2,200 R&D employees. He is intimately involved in developing sustainable solutions for health, nutrition and materials, and has laid the foundation for the growing number of bio-based manufacturing processes in DSM’s businesses. Notable examples are the recently opened Project LIBERTY, the first commercial-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant in the U.S. established together with partner POET; DSM’s Reverdia joint venture with Roquette to commercialize bio-succinic acid; as well as the development of a portfolio of bio-based resins for paint.

His ability to explain his vision of a sustainable world where science can make the difference in a clear and inspiring manner enables him to successfully create complex partnerships with both industry and academia, as well as convince internal stakeholders to embrace the strategies underlying his actions. Dr. Wubbolts also demonstrates a dedicated Open Innovation mindset, leading and participating in Public Private Partnerships and other forms of industry collaborations. “The frontrunner development and commercialization of lignocellulosic ethanol technology is only one very relevant example of many in which Dr. Wubbolts is intimately involved,” says Gert-Jan Gruter of Avantium, jury member and European CTO of the Year 2014 in SME category. “His enthusiasm and drive for science and sustainable innovation for society is an inspiration for many.

Marcel Wubbolts: “This is a great honor and I feel it is great recognition for the Bright Science community at DSM. DSM is a life and materials sciences company with a unique vision that bright science enables a more sustainable world for today and generations to come. That’s something I’ve always believed very strongly in myself. If DSM’s achievements under my leadership have demonstrated the importance of innovation for Europe’s future, it’s because I had the good fortune to be part of the right company at the right time. Our efforts have also received valuable support in some great partnerships – we definitely can’t achieve our goals alone.”