The fight against covid-19

Update: DSM initiatives

Update on DSM initiatives to support the fight against covid-19

Heerlen, NL, 04 Sep 2020 15:00 CEST

DSM, like many other companies, organizations and individuals in the Netherlands, has done its utmost from the start of the corona crisis to support the fight against covid-19. 

At the request of the Dutch government, DSM helped during the crisis to establish and coordinate supply chains for test swabs, disinfectant and medical facemasks in the Netherlands in record time to meet the urgent demand of that moment and prevent supply shortage for healthcare workers in the Netherlands.

This provided an essential need through production on Dutch soil. Close collaboration between existing and new partners*, ranging from local entrepreneurs and start-ups to multinationals, and the Dutch government were crucial in achieving this. All DSM initiatives were not-for-profit. DSM either donated or delivered against cost price and didn’t charge for the substantial time invested by its employees.


A spontaneous alliance in April 2020 between AFPRO, Auping and DSM led to large scale production of FFP2 masks on Dutch soil. Seven million in total. After a start-up period of a few weeks, AFPRO and Auping now produce hundreds of thousands of mouh-nosemasks a week at their production facilities in Alkmaar and Deventer and will soon be able to supply one million per week. DSM procures and supplies the critical filter material, meltblown polypropylene, and will continue to be a supplier until all existing commitments are met, for these companies to manufacture facemasks for the Dutch government. In addition, earlier today, DSM and VDL Groep announced the start of commercial production of high-quality medical facemasks and filter material in the Netherlands.

Test swabs

At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Health, DSM together with Molded, ECM Europe and Steris, managed to set up a supply chain in May 2020 to manufacture millions of test swabs in the Netherlands to meet the urgent need for test swabs  in the Netherlands. In normal circumstances similar processes would take months or years. DSM donated the materials. The Netherlands currently has enough stock of test swabs. 


In March, April and May, DSM made additional production capacity available to produce 390,000-liter disinfectant on request of the Dutch Ministry of Health to protect healthcare workers and prevent supply shortage in the Netherlands. DSM is ready to produce more test swabs or disinfectant, when the government asks us to do so.

Enzymes for TNO LAMP-test

Since May 2020, DSM has been helping TNO in developing a rapid COVID-19 coronavirus test kit based on a so-called LAMP test (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification). Scientists from DSM in Delft are applying their biotechnological expertise and extensive experience in screening and developing enzymes, a crucial part of the LAMP test. Currently, these enzymes are being produced abroad. Upscaling and production in The Netherlands helps the country to reduce its dependency on a small number of international sources and test providers.

DSM's contribution to the development of the LAMP test is against cost price.

Edith Schippers, President DSM Netherlands: “Covid-19 has an unprecedented effect on our lives, with far-reaching personal, societal and economic consequences. At the same time, many people in the Netherlands have joined forces to help prevent further covid-19 infections. Collaboration and partnerships between start-ups, family business, multinationals and the government that were established in record-time, show that we can do great things when it is most needed. I thank the employees of DSM, the employees of other companies and the Dutch government for their unprecedented commitment at this time of crisis.”

DSM continues to apply its scientific know-how and resources to support the fight against covid-19 through various global and local initiatives. These include manufacturing and delivering 2.8 million nose swabs and 390,000 liters of disinfectant in the Netherlands as well as vital test kit equipment and distributing millions of immunity-optimizing products to communities, healthcare workers, as well as all DSM employees and their families worldwide. DSM has also joined global collaborative ‘Build Back Better’ initiatives advocating for economic recovery policies that trigger investments and behavioral changes to increase society’s resilience to global emergencies such as climate change.

*existing and new partners: AFPRO Filters, Royal Auping, Chr. Muller Touw, Duflex Mechatronics, ECM Europe, Hunter Douglas, Innovatec, Mediq, Molded, Nie-met, Panton, Papyrolux, Reinier de Graaf-ziekenhuis Delft, Schaafsma Paper Group, Steris, TU Delft, VDL en Vipack.

Read more (in Dutch)