DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Our focus in Innovation

Innovation is what transforms our ‘Bright Science’ into ‘Brighter Living’. We aim to develop novel, sustainable solutions by leveraging an enterprise-wide approach that utilizes our unique scientific capabilities and our profound understanding of health and nutrition for both people and animals. Supported by a global network of advanced centers of biotechnology and chemistry as well as strategic partnerships, this enables us to develop breakthrough innovations with proven health benefits.

Innovation sales – defined as products and applications that have been introduced during the previous five years — have also improved our profitability, delivering higher margins than the average of our running business. We continuously invest in innovation in order to maintain the contribution from resulting sales at around 20% of total sales, which we consider to be a healthy proportion in view of the overall balance of our product portfolio and product life cycles.

Innovation as an enterprise-wide endeavor

Our long-term success requires us to be able to serve our customers with innovations that are grounded in market insights and enabled by digital technology and bioscience as well as best-in class production and launch capabilities. In order to achieve this, we regard innovation as an enterprise-wide endeavor whereby those who invent, make and sell have a shared responsibility. This results in full alignment from ideation to commercialization and maximizes the opportunities for our R&D to make a positive difference for people, planet, and profit. By encouraging an environment which supports both the short-term needs of our businesses today, and the longer-term requirements for breakthrough advances in science, we create an engine for growth, especially as we begin to realize the next frontier of our business model: precision & personalization.

Driving our innovation pipeline through four growth themes

Our platform-based approach helps us to deliver a business-anchored pipeline of innovations that are aligned with our future strategic needs and support our growth ambitions. We have four overarching growth themes that address major global societal, technological, and environmental trends which in turn inform our innovation platforms.

Growth themes and innovation platforms

Innovation growth themes (graphic)

We focus on four growth themes — Pathways, Proteins, Prevention and Precision:

Pathways: using our base strength in chemistry and biotechnology to manufacture ingredients with a better environmental footprint. Through our strengths and advances in biotechnology we can make innovative use of microorganisms to produce ingredients and intermediates — for example, the innovation platform of Sustainable Lipids, which includes our algal-based omega-3 Veramaris® for more sustainable aquaculture.

Proteins: solutions that reduce the footprint of animal protein production and meet the growing demand for meat, fish and dairy alternatives — for example, the Animal Emission Reduction platform, which includes our feed additive Bovaer®, which significantly reduces methane emissions from cattle, and plant-based specialty proteins such as CanolaPRO®.

Prevention: using our rich portfolio of active ingredients (e.g., vitamins, lipids, human milk oligosaccharides) to optimize health and immunity. For example, as we learn more about how our ingredients modulate the gut microbiome, we see potential to develop solutions that build resilience to stress and disease by improving the gut microflora in people and animals. In the Animal Gut Health platform, for example, we have a full range of antibiotic alternatives that promote animal health while tackling anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Precision: digitally enabled new business models to enhance nutrition precision, ensuring the right nutrition to maximize health for people and animals. An example is our personalized nutrition platform, delivered through Hologram Sciences, Inc., which provides personalized nutrition and coaching recommendations for people.

Research & Development