DSM Integrated Annual Report 2022

Our focus in Science and Innovation

Science and innovation are fundamental to our future growth and a crucial means by which we will support the sustainable transformation of global food systems, the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to overcome resource scarcity through bio-based nature-positive solutions. Building on more than 150 years of expertise, DSM today is a global leader in bioscience, and our innovations address major societal challenges as we reach billions of people around the world.

Innovation is what transforms our ‘Bright Science’ into ‘Brighter Living’. Supported by our global network of advanced biotechnology and chemistry centers, we aim to develop breakthrough innovations with proven benefits by leveraging our understanding of health and nutrition for both people and animals.

Our long-term success requires us to be able to serve our customers with innovation that is grounded in market insights and enabled by digital technology as well as best-in-class production and launch capabilities. In order to achieve this, we regard innovation as an enterprise-wide endeavor in which those who invent, make and sell have a shared responsibility.

We deploy our science and innovation capabilities via shared and business-dedicated teams that reflect the end-market orientations of our Health, Nutrition & Bioscience businesses. With priority-setting and resource allocation done by those closest to the customer, we ensure our teams are connected to those customers’ needs and have full alignment from ideation to commercialization.

Through cross-business teams, we develop and scale process innovations that benefit the competitiveness of all our businesses. Applying biodata and translational science, with the use of advanced digital technologies such as big data, deep learning and modeling as well as lab automation, strengthens our entire organization further by helping accelerate innovation and providing objective evidence of the efficacy of new solutions.

Our ongoing investment in science and innovation ensures that we have the right combination of skills, technologies, and partners to meet specific unmet market needs. At the end of 2022, we had 75 laboratories spread across 12 countries and over 1,300 scientists, including professors and academic associates around the globe, all working together to drive the progress of our Health, Nutrition & Bioscience businesses.

To reinforce our worldwide position as a leader in bioscience and create greater value for DSM and society at large, we continued to align our science and innovation organization with the changing needs of the market as well as with the increasing speed of technological and scientific advances in the world. 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 maximize our potential to make a positive difference for People, Planet and Profit.

Purpose-led, performance-driven innovation

We focus on four overarching growth themes that address major global societal, environmental and technological trends which in turn inform our innovation platforms. These themes – Pathways, Proteins, Prevention and Precision – and the resulting platforms help us to deliver a business-anchored pipeline of innovations that are aligned with our future strategic needs and support our growth ambitions.

  • Pathways: Using our base strength in biotechnology and chemistry to manufacture ingredients with better effectiveness, efficiency, or a better environmental footprint – for example, Veramaris® algal-based lipids provide a more sustainable fish oil alternative with multiple applications including aquaculture and dietary supplements
  • Proteins: Solutions that reduce the footprint of animal protein production and meet the growing demand for meat, fish, and dairy alternatives – for example our feed additive Bovaer®, which significantly reduces methane emissions from cattle, or plant-based specialty proteins such as CanolaPRO®
  • Prevention: Using our rich portfolio of active ingredients to proactively optimize health and immunity – for example, as we learn more about the gut microbiome of people and animals, we see potential in developing solutions such as our first precision biotic, Symphiome®, which modulates specific metabolic pathways to benefit the health of poultry animals and the environment
  • Precision: Digitally enabled new business models can identify the precise nutrition needed to maximize health outcomes for people and animals – for example our Verax™ platform digitizes animal health and nutrition monitoring and nutrition including early disease diagnosis and diet formulation optimization

Each growth theme is also connected to a technology platform that develops disruptive technologies to a level of readiness required for implementation in a business context. A balanced mix is maintained between serving the shorter-term innovation needs of customers today and developing disruptive concepts.

Our resulting pipeline of innovation underpins our future growth as well as our sustainability ambitions.

R&D expenditure

Innovation sales – defined as products and applications that have been introduced during the previous five years – have improved our profitability, delivering higher margins than the average of our running business. We continuously invest in innovation in view of the overall balance of our product portfolio and product life cycles.











R&D expenditure in € million (continuing operations)





R&D expenditure as % of net sales (continuing operations)





Staff employed in R&D activities (continuing operations)





Scientific collaboration

Our open and collaborative approach increases our scientific scope and helps us make joint scientific contributions to address significant scientific societal and environmental challenges. We participate in more than 70 public-private partnerships (PPPs) that are relevant to our innovation growth themes.

Our employees collaborate with more than 100 organizations worldwide including academic institutions and other R&D partners such as the European Union scientific research initiative Horizon Europe, Iowa State University in North America, and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

External venturing

The DSM Venturing unit provides investment, coaching, and support for startups that have the potential to transform health and nutrition through bioscience and digital technology, as well as through new business models. We made 6 new investments in 2022, 14 follow-on investments, and successfully realized the value of several of our investments through various liquidity events. We also generated several leads for collaboration with businesses at DSM. By the end of the year, our portfolio included 38 startups (2021: 38). For more information, see the DSM Venturing website.

Internal venture-building

We build and scale innovative ventures within DSM by means of a venture-capital approach with dedicated entrepreneurial teams, simple startup-style board governance, and value inflection driven milestone-based funding rounds. An example of this approach is the creation and development of Hologram Sciences, Inc. This venture incorporates our activities in personalized nutrition in the US within the framework of our Health, Nutrition & Care business, and has launched brands such as d.velop™, designed to optimize vitamin-D immunity, and Phenology™, offering holistic support including the physical, mental, and emotional impacts for the perimenopause and menopause experience. Hologram Sciences combines proven science with the latest technology to create health diagnostics, digital coaching and personalized nutrition solutions that help people optimize their health and well-being.

IP & Licensing

Our group of qualified IP professionals protect DSM’s innovations by securing patents and trademarks worldwide. This group also includes certified licensing professionals who offer expertise for intellectual property-intensive deals across all of DSM’s businesses, including joint development agreements, technology acquisitions and sales, and in-, out- and cross-licensing deals. DSM filed 165 patents across our Health, Nutrition & Bioscience activities in 2022 (2021: 179). This reflects our continued focus on innovation projects with the highest potential for business impact.

Biosciences are any of the sciences that deal with living organisms.
Intellectual property
Research & Development