DPI Annual Report 2006

13 June 2007

Excellence and Impact
Polymers for a sustainable society

Pride

Ten years ago, a Leading Technology Institute in the field op polymers was launched - the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI). This effort has resulted in an organisation that we may be proud of. Now, a total of 36 companies and 30 knowledge institutes are jointly managing and executing an ambitious and challenging research programme in the field of polymers - a programme worth approximately 16 million euros in which more than 250 scientists are engaged. The Dutch Polymer Institute has succeeded in building a reputation for itself over the past decade.
Organisations outside the Netherlands are sometimes envious of the way our institute is working, and in a European context DPI is mentioned as an example of how a "Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC)" should be set up. Together with our partners we have put the Netherlands on the map in the field of polymers. Some large companies that are DPI partners (Dow, Teijin, DSM) have recently decided to concentrate their R&D in the Netherlands or to expand their R&D activities in this country, one of the reasons being the value-added of the DPI partnership. That is something we can be proud of as well, for it means we are achieving the objectives that the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs formulated at the time of our foundation: building focus and mass in the Key Area of polymers in the Netherlands, generating more business, making the Netherlands an attractive country for top-level knowledge workers, and improving our competitive position. No less important is the aim of retaining long-term research in the Netherlands, which will enable our country to continue to play a leading role in the field of technology.

People

After completing their project, DPI researchers usually find a job with one of the associated partners. Our partners mention this as one of the most obvious advantages of their involvement in DPI. Long-term research requires long-term investment. We are now beginning to reap the rewards. Through the close contacts with industrial partners they learn to see the added value of an industrial approach to R&D at an early stage of their careers. As a result, it is easier for them to make the transition to a business environment after completing their project.

Polymers for a sustainable society

Meanwhile, we are busy setting up a programme for the next ten years, around the theme of " polymers for a sustainable society". Partner companies and knowledge institutes have been involved in determining the content of this programme. With the Triple P (People, Planet, Profit) concept in mind, we will be focusing our efforts on quality of life, sustainability and economic
growth in the years to come. Our underlying objective will be to continue to deliver excellence and impact as we have been doing for several years now.

Excellence

We have defined four key themes:
1. Design of durable high-volume, high-performance materials,
2. New polymers for sustainability,
3. High-value-adding coatings and barrier films,
4. Materials for high-tech and bio-functional applications.

Via calls for research proposals we have invited universities to jointly give shape to these themes. In close collaboration with the scientific chairmen, our partner companies will
decide on the ultimate selection of projects. The Scientific Reference Board, ‑ consisting of four independent internationally renowned experts, in their turn assess the scientific merit of the total DPI programme.

Impact

Our output is becoming increasingly important to industry, judging from the growth in the number of patents and the growing interest in the transfer of patents. DPI rewards its researchers for their contributions. During the annual meeting in 2006, which was hosted by Dow in Terneuzen (Netherlands), 42 researchers were presented with a DPI patent award. In addition, in 2006 the first Pieter Jan Lemstra Invention Award was presented, in honour of Professor Piet Lemstra of Eindhoven University of Technology, co-founder of DPI and its first scientific director. The recipients of the Award were top researchers Dick Broer and Kees Bastiaansen, who were jointly responsible for research activities in the Functional Polymer Systems technology area that
have meanwhile generated 13 patent applications. The Pieter Jan Lemstra Invention Award will be presented every two years to researchers who have demonstrated outstanding performance with an impact on industry.

DPI Value Centre

Together with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs we are working on the creation of a separate Value Centre. We should do more in the field of valorisation, in particular valorisation that will benefit Dutch SMEs. With DPI's current set-up we are unable to meet this demand, but we are convinced we will be able to do more for Dutch SMEs without compromising the current success formula. We think there are opportunities that we are currently leaving unused but that might be of interest to other parties, like SMEs.

Anniversary

Our annual meeting on 21 and 22 November 2007, which will be hosted by DSM, will have an extra festive touch because this year is our tenth anniversary. The end of 2007 will also mark the start of the implementation of our new business plan. Since the core themes of this plan have been defined by our partners, we trust we will be able to continue our relationship with you for many more years.

 

Dr Jacques Joosten
Managing Director

More information: DPI Annual Report 2006

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