I’m Ernst Jan van Klinken, was born in the Area of Eindhoven and actually studied polymer science with the faculty of mechanical engineering on the TU/e between 1987 and 1992. I have lived and worked in other parts of the Netherlands, the USA, Belgium and Mexico. I returned to (working in) Eindhoven beginning of last year when I took over the lead of DPI, the Polymer Research Platform. DPI started out as one of the Leading Technology Institutes in the Netherlands, taking the form of a public-private partnership jointly funded by industry, universities and the Dutch government, but grew out to the world-class global Polymer Research Platform we are today. The office in Kennispoort hosts 12 people of staff who facilitate the platform for the active community of ~500 polymer innovation academic and industrial experts across the globe. During the past 25 years, DPI research programmes have brought together a large number of industrial companies and various leading universities worldwide. Several hundred DPI projects involving hundreds of researchers have resulted in more than 2,000 publications. In recent years, DPI has transformed into a primarily industry-funded platform. In addition DPI utilises, where possible, public funding from national, regional and international agencies to enhance its overall offering to its partners; on average public funding amounts to approx. 30% of the total industrial funding.

Our value proposition to the polymer innovation community is that research and development programmes are jointly initiated, shaped and funded by industrial partners, providing scope for open innovation type research efforts extending beyond companies’ individual research and innovation portfolios. We provide a unique and strong international network of industry experts and academic scientists working in an advanced and inspiring knowledge infrastructure, creating an attractive innovation and business environment for industrial partners. We provide a multidisciplinary approach to projects, combining expertise in chemistry, physics and engineering sciences and provide a steady supply of highly trained polymer experts in industrially relevant fields. Often the consortium-based projects, across or along the value chain, result in new strategic collaborations that extend beyond the project boundaries in a later phase. They are breeding ground for steady strategic (business) relationships.

Our dream is that the DPI Innovation Community will be pivotal in bringing the solutions in polymer science and technology which are required by society. Not only in critical functionalities which support applications in unchartered territories, which  will  have  an  impact  on  our  daily  lives, but also in creating solutions for building true circular economies in polymers. The ambition to improve the world is driven by our curiosity and inquisitiveness. DPI; driving polymer innovation, for a better world!

Today our community consists of companies and universities from across the world, including North & South America, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Japan. This global reach has been achieved by focusing on our competence in developing and facilitating innovation in polymer science. This originated in Eindhoven, because Piet Lemstra, the academic lead of the founding members, was professor at the department of Chemical Technology within TU/e. We still have a good relationship with TU/e with respect to science programs, (ICT) infrastructure and even participation of faculty members in our Supervisory Board. These are all reasons why we are still in Eindhoven.

Currently we do not have many other cross-fertilizations ongoing in the Campus landscape, but this could still evolve. We are open to building broader cooperation and consortia where polymer science is involved and believe that science parks can be mutually stimulating and fertilizing innovation. I have visited Kadans community events, but due to Corona measures interactions have been limited.