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DSM and ASR Dutch Science Park Fund are joining hands to further develop the Biotech Campus Delft into a global leader in life sciences. ASR is investing hundreds of millions in the open innovation campus in the Netherlands. As a fermentation and bioscience hotspot, it should play a leading role in the global transition to a sustainable, biobased economy.
Editorial office / Delft

DSM and ASR announced this on Thursday (6 April 2023). At the Biotech Campus Delft, renowned research institutes, R&D, start-ups and scale-ups, fermentation expertise and commercial activities are concentrated together in one location.

The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund is buying the already existing offices and laboratories that DSM rents out to start-ups and plans to invest up to some €500 million in real estate on the site over a 20-year period. The fund is also investing in the new global headquarters currently being developed for DSM’s Food & Beverage business unit. This business unit will become the combined Taste, Texture & Health business unit after the proposed merger with Firmenich.

DSM will retain ownership of the Rosalind Franklin Biotech Centre and the Biotech Campus Delft, including infrastructure and facilities. DSM will also improve accessibility to the campus, ensuring the long-term development of the site.

Sustainable future

“With this investment in the Biotech Campus Delft, the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund contributes to boosting the Dutch knowledge sector,” said Jos Baeten, CEO of ASR. “The realisation of offices and laboratories will allow companies and scientists to work together on important innovations in the field of food and the development of new products needed for a more sustainable future. This is what the fund’s participants, including ASR and other Dutch insurers and pension funds, are keen to contribute to.”

The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund already invests in the development of campuses in several locations through collaborations, such as with Delft University of Technology and Kennispark Twente.

Delft has been one of the world’s leading hotspots for fermentation for more than a century. Many innovations developed on campus have found their way into society, including technology for the large-scale production of penicillin, natural sweeteners and enzymes that enable people with lactose intolerance to include nutritious dairy in their diet.

Open innovation campus

In 2019, DSM opened its Delft site to third parties active in life sciences. Parties can share knowledge and infrastructure here, together forming an open innovation campus. Planet drives the growth of the innovation ecosystem in Delft, strengthening the vibrant knowledge and business ecosystem and attracting new companies that use open innovation to further flourish and grow the campus. The non-profit organisation already hosts 16 start-up companies creating solutions to the most pressing challenges in, for example, the food transition.

The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund joins Planet’s Supervisory Board alongside DSM, Delft University of Technology, the Municipality of Delft, the Province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter. Together, they will support Planet in further building the ecosystem of the Biotech Campus Delft.

For more information, visit DSM’s website.

Image: artist’s impression of Biotech Campus Delft