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Annual report 2014

2014 was an exciting year for HIMS in which we welcomed new scientific staff, produced great science and launched the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry with a big bang.

In 2014 three new tenure track scientists and two professors (one full time) were appointed to further strengthen the research activities of HIMS. Our researchers were successful in acquiring external funds to start new projects and produced 150 peer reviewed scientific publications, of which many in high impact journals, and 20 PhD theses of which one with cum laude by Dr. Ivan Kryven. Peter Schoenmakers received the prestigious Knox medal and was ranked 7th on the worldwide 'Analytical Sciences Power List 2013'.

In collaboration with HRSMC three Nobel laureates visited Amsterdam, on the occasion of the yearly HRSMC symposium, and undergraduate students had the chance to interview these scientific hero’s. HIMS hosted the National Chemistry Olympiad 2014, which was a great success. The spin-off company Plantics was erected, exploring the commercial potential of the new bio-plastic that was invented at HIMS.

In October we organised our first annual Industry Day, which was attended by many companies, to discuss science, meet our researchers and to show our infrastructure. The scientific advisory board gathered in December, giving a concise feedback on how the points raised in the midterm evaluation (2014) were addressed. In general, the board was very positive about the adequate response of HIMS to the recommendations in the midterm evaluation.

The ceremonial ignition by Rector Magnificus Prof.dr. Dymph van den Boom of the RPA Sustainable Chemistry symbolized the boost the university gives to this already well-established area of chemistry research at the Van 't Hoff Institute of Molecular Sciences. The RPA connects scientists from all four HIMS research themes and initiates new collaborations.

Also in 2014 we further discussed the possible collaborations with the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) and VU University in the area of sustainability in the context of a new virtual department. Several meetings were organised for chemists and biologists from HIMS, SILS and the VU to search for new possibilities to enhance the co-operation and synergy in 2014.