100-plus years of transformation

Our long heritage

An ever-ambitious company

At DSM, reinvention is in our blood (we are a science company, after all). From the depths of the Dutch State Mines over a century ago we’ve transformed ourselves into something truly bright: a global science-based company specializing in ensuring the world is healthier, happier and safer. And we’re still evolving….

Early days

DSM was established in 1902 by the Dutch government to mine coal reserves in the Southern Province of Limburg. To this day we still use the English translation (Dutch State Mines) of the company's original name, De Nederlandse Staatsmijnen. Now, however, it has a more relevant (albeit less formal) meaning for our people: Doing Something Meaningful.

We’ve always been an ambitious company. Our evolution has continued unabated after we closed the last coal mine in the early 70s. In the past 20 years we transformed once again, as we began to focus more on creating science-based solutions in health, nutrition and sustainable living.

Accelerating acquisitions

At the end of the 20th century, DSM entered biotechnology with the acquisition of Gist-brocades. This marked the start of a major period of transformation and was followed by the sale of our petrochemical activities to Sabic in 2002 and the acquisition of Roche Vitamins & Fine Chemicals in 2003. In the following years, DSM further focused and streamlined its portfolio with the acquisition of the waterborne resins business of NeoResins, followed by further acquisitions in human nutrition (Martek, Fortitech); animal nutrition (Tortuga); and biomedical (Kensey Nash) - to name just a few.

Today, our acquisitions are an integral part of DSM, providing scientific solutions that solve real problems for the world.

People partnerships

On our journey of transformation we’ve been fortunate to work with a vast array of organizations and partners. In nutrition, we began a global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2007 (the largest provider of food aid to the world’s hungry), which is still going stronger than ever; and we are now working with Cargill to help reduce the world’s sugar consumption.

Planet partnerships

We work with organizations like the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition to advocate a price on carbon and greater use of renewable energy, such as solar power, biofuels and biogas, all of which use DSM solutions. Meanwhile when it comes to reducing waste we’re working with organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to find new circular solutions.

The common thread

The common thread that runs through all our efforts these past years is turning our scientific and innovation power towards tackling the greatest challenges faced by our society in the domains of Nutrition & Health, Climate & Energy and Resources & Circularity. And that’s what we will continue to do, by striving to make life brighter for all – not just today but for generations to come. 

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  • Managing Board

    Profiles, roles and responsibilities of DSM's Managing Board and its Members.

  • Our businesses

    From animal and human nutrition & health to specialty food ingredients, from medical devices to sustainable plastics and protective materials to venturing…our businesses are here to bring value to all stakeholders.