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Last Friday 22 March, the Faculty of Science proudly hosted the Amsterdam Chemistry Innovation Day (ACID): “A World in Transition”. Organised by the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS), the Amsterdam Chemistry Network (ACN), and the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences AIMMS (Vrije Universiteit), the event attracted approximately 300 participants from across the Netherlands.
Photo by Monique Kooijmans.

The background of the ACID attendants ranged from students to academic staff and industry professionals. They were presented with a program that was packed with enlightening presentations, engaging discussions, and career development workshops.


Keynote presentations were given by Dr Francesco Mutti, head of the HIMS Biocatalysis group, and Taisa Hansen, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at LIPTON Teas and Infusions – which is in the process of establishing a research division at Amsterdam Science Park.

Keynote speaker Francesco Mutti. Photo by Monique Kooijmans.

Mutti gave an enlightening talk about the relevance of biocatalysis to aid the transition towards sustainable chemistry. He addressed challenges and solutions for powerful reactions and greener processes, spacing from the synthesis of pharmaceuticals to plastic pollution bioremediation.

Hansen presented the LIPTON efforts to becoming the world’s leading tea business, and explained how the establishment of a research division at Amsterdam Science Park will help to achieve that – in particular in establishing the innovation that will shape the company’s role in promoting a healthier and more sustainable world.

Keynote speaker Taisa Hansen. Photo by Monique Kooijmans.

Lively discussions

Subsequent parallel session focused on subjects as diverse as

  • Food Transition: How algae, enzymes, and computers can change our diet?
  • The Port of Amsterdam in Transition. Hydrogen, energy-from-waste, and biobased technologies.
  • Sustainable Solutions from Thin Air: a Panel Discussion on CO2 Valorisation.
  • Quantum Horizons: a Revolution in Sight for Chemistry?

All sessions were characterized by lively discussions in which academic researchers, industry representatives and students participated in an inviting atmosphere and on equal terms.

Parallel session on CO2 Valorisation. Photo by Monique Kooijmans.

Career fair

During the whole day, students could participate in a career fair that included company pitches and sessions on a variety of subjects such as the transition from academia to industry; the chemist of the future; female entrepreneurship in science; careers in Life Sciences; and how to write a CV and cover letter.

ACID 2024 Career Fair. Photo by Monique Kooijmans.