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An evolution of successful transformations

DSM was established in 1902 by the Dutch government to mine coal reserves in the Southern Province of Limburg. To this day we continue to use the English translation of the company's original name, the Nederlandse Staatsmijnen (Dutch State Mines), signifying both our heritage and how far we’ve come in just over a century.

How did we transform over the years from Dutch coal miners to a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials?

In fact, DSM’s diversification began as early as 1919 with the opening of a coke plant. Post-1945 this diversification into bulk chemicals and petrochemicals accelerated so that by the time the last mine closed in 1973 DSM was a chemical company.

Since the 1990s, during which the company was fully privatised, DSM transformed itself again, selling almost all of its commodity chemicals activities and becoming a global science-based company delivering innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance.



  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. completed the acquisition of Patheon N.V., a company in which DSM held approximately 48.7 million ordinary shares, realizing total proceeds of approximately €2 billion.


  • DSM is named leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index Materials Sector, having been named among the global leaders in each of the last 13 years and number one on seven occasions.


  • DSM and WFP reconfirm their partnership to combat global malnutrition.
  • DSM announces its Strategy 2018: Driving Profitable Growth.
  • DSM and CVC Capital Partners finalize their partnership, ChemicaInvest, for DSM’s Polymer Intermediates and Composite Resins, a decisive step in further optimizing the company’s portfolio.


  • POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, a joint venture of Royal DSM and POET, LLC, opened the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S.
  • Royal DSM and JLL Partners create a joint venture, DPx Holdings (now Patheon N.V.), combining Patheon Inc. with the pharmaceutical assets of DSM.


  • DSM acquires Tortuga, the Brazilian market leader in organic trace minerals for animal nutrition and health.


  • DSM acquires Fortitech and strengthens its human nutrition business to become a full solutions provider in food ingredient blends.
  • DSM acquires Ocean Nutrition Canada and expands its Nutritional Lipids growth platform.
  • DSM acquires Kensey Nash and strengthens its biomedical business.


  • DSM and Sinochem Group establish global anti-infectives joint venture, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals.
  • DSM acquires Martek; adding a new Nutrition growth platform focused on Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs).
  • DSM marks its transformation with new brand, Bright Science. Brighter Living.™


  • DSM completes its divestment program through sale of DSM Elastomers. Previously, DSM finalized the divestments of DSM Agro, DSM Melamine, Citric Acid, Stamicarbon as well as its energy interests.


  • The DSM China Campus opening marks the start of a new era for DSM’s sustainable development in China.


  • DSM signs a global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest provider of food aid to the world’s hungry.



  • US Federal Trade Commission approves DSM’s takeover of Roche Vitamins & Fine Chemicals, now DSM Nutritional Products, one of the world's leading suppliers of vitamins, carotenoids and other ingredients to the feed, food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries.


  • Sale of DSM Petrochemicals to SABIC.


  • Acquisition of Gist-brocades whose core technologies were in fermentation and enzymes.


  • Production of Stanyl begins.
  • The first Dyneema plant is built.


  • DSM becomes a publically listed company.


  • DSM Resins established.


  • The last coal mine closes.


  • Start of polyethylene production.


  • Start of caprolactam production.


  • The Central Laboratory opens.


  • Production of first fertilizer.


  • Production at the Emma coke plant signals start of DSM’s chemical activities.


  • The first coal produced.


  • Incorporation of Dutch State Mines.