2016 was a great year for HIMS in which the number of young scientific staff (PhD students and postdocs) increased with almost 20 due to expansion of external research funding. New projects were acquired and HIMS underpinned its international position with appealing publications in renowned scientific journals.
HIMS welcomed two Vidi-fellows and one professor by special appointment. 15 new projects were acquired with a total funding of 6 million euros granted by EU, NWO and Topsector Chemistry. Amongst these was a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. 13 projects were inspired by future applications and 9 of these projects already have participating and co-financing companies. In 2016 four new patent applications were filed based on HIMS research. A total of 12 promising valorisation opportunities were exploited.
The high scientific level of HIMS is reflected in 216 peer-reviewed scientific publications, many of which in high impact journals, including two Science papers. 14 PhD students successfully defended their theses, two of them receiving their PhD cum laude. The quality of HIMS scientists is also reflected in the prizes and honours awarded, Prof. Bas de Bruin was named UvA Lecturer of the Year by the UvA Student Council, PhD student Jurn Heinen was one of the winners of the first Amsterdam heat of FameLab, The Royal Netherlands Chemical Society KNCV awarded Prof. Jan van Maarseveen its 'Van Marumpenning', researcher Dr. Bert Wouters was awarded the 'Solvay Award' for his groundbreaking PhD research and Prof. em. Ron Wever received the 7th Vanadis Award for his research on vanadium haloperoxidases.
After years of preparations we were very happy to welcome the group of Dr. Chris Slootweg from VU University Amsterdam to HIMS in November 2016. The group will be embedded within the Synthetic Organic Chemistry group led by Prof. Jan van Maarseveen and its focus fits perfectly within the sustainable chemistry aims of HIMS.
The RPA Sustainable Chemistry is very active at many different levels. An example is the bootcamp week on Sustainable Chemistry entrepreneurship organised together with ACE venture Labs in November 2016. Junior researchers Simon Mathew, Marissa de Boer and Monalisa Goswami were awarded financial support and mentoring during the start-up of their chemistry-based spin-off company.
Prof. Joost Reek stepped down after three years as HIMS director. As of 01 January 2017 he was succeeded by Prof. Peter Schoenmakers. HIMS thanks Prof. Reek for his commitment to the institute and the way he made HIMS flourish and grow during his directorship. Prof. Reek will continue to serve as group leader within HIMS and as figurehead of the UvA research priority area Sustainable Chemistry.