HIMS researchers explore a wide range of subjects; from pure basic scientific inspired quests to application inspired fundamental research projects. In 2017, HIMS received funding for 16 research proposals of which as many as 12 were inspired by future applications. Furthermore, 10 of these projects involve companies participating and co-financing. On top of all that, two new contract research projects were started directly for the benefit of companies.
In 2017, four new patent applications were filed, in collaboration with research consortia or companies. In case results of HIMS research may have future commercial value, HIMS follows an active approach to find industrial partners to collaborate with. The technology transfer office IXA supports HIMS scientists with contracts and IP affairs, and advises on funding (grants). Where appropriate HIMS protects its intellectual property. Usually, industrial partners, that are the potential users of the knowledge, will be involved in an early stage. In general, the institute does not apply for patents for exploration by itself.
On 20 October 2017, HIMS organised together with Innovation Lab Chemistry Amsterdam (ILCA) and the Amsterdam Green Campus the Amsterdam Chemistry Innovation Day (ACID 2017). Over 95 representatives from companies (from Amsterdam SMEs to multinationals) and academic groups gathered at the HIMS laboratories.
The day started with an inspiring lecture by Nelleke van der Puil, Vice President of Materials at The LEGO Group. PhD students and postdocs of HIMS took the opportunity to meet potential employers outside academia and interactive workshops and a poster session were used to discuss opportunities for research collaborations. The RPA Sustainable Chemistry discussed valorisation and possibilities for cooperation with its Industrial Advisory Board on 20 October 2017 too.
ACID illustrates the growing collaboration between HIMS and ILCA. Several companies housing in the Matrix buildings at the Science Park Amsterdam visit HIMS on a regularly base to collect NMR spectra or perform other measurements. Prof.dr. Gert-Jan Gruter initiated a close collaboration between HIMS and the company Avantium where he is CTO.
On top of the valorisation activities that focus on direct public-private collaboration or application of HIMS knowledge as mentioned above, there are more activities within HIMS that provide value to society, besides scientific output. HIMS trains (together with TI-COAST and HRSMC) many talented people at bachelor, master and PhD and postdoc level. These young scientists leave the Science Park for jobs in industry or academia nearby or elsewhere in the world.
That chemical knowledge of HIMS is of value for other disciplines can be shown by the many multi-disciplinary collaborations. Collaborations with the sister-institutes of our faculty are numerous. Outside our university, HIMS collaborates in consortia like Solardam, BioSolar Cells, Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center, Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science, Quantivision, LaserLaB Amsterdam, and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography.