Feike Sijbesma, Chairman of the Managing Board of Directors of DSM and member of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University:
"It is all about the survival of the fittest"
Feike Sijbesma studied medical biology at Utrecht University (and subsequently business administration in Rotterdam). Currently, he is Chairman of the Managing Board of Directors of Royal DSM. As a member of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University, Feike Sijbesma is still strongly involved in his ‘Alma Mater’. In his opinion, excellent research and teaching are not only fundamental to Utrecht University, but also the Netherlands and DSM.
“My student days had a high educational value and boosted my personal development. Not only did I acquire knowledge in the field of molecular biology, I also shaped and refined my social skills, which is equally important. I gained a better understanding of social processes and also of my own personality.”
“When I was invited to become a member of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University, I accepted the invitation without hesitation. I concentrate on the further improvement and positioning of Utrecht University. Utrecht is a large and broad-scale university. Defining 15 research focus areas has enabled the university to set out a clear course and to create a distinct profile in an international context."
"DSM has also opted for a clear focus, centring on Life Sciences & Materials Sciences. As innovation is one of the core objectives of DSM, it is crucial that the Netherlands has a strong knowledge infrastructure. Utrecht University can contribute substantially to this development.”
“Knowledge valorisation is one of the things I promote. Knowledge valorisation does not mean the commercial capitalisation of knowledge. The university should not sell off its knowledge, but always remain independent. Instead, knowledge should be used to generate money, which again should be reinvested in the most suitable way. All this should be aimed at the sustainability of university research. In my view, knowledge transfer also includes opening up knowledge to the benefit of society. After all, universities have different social responsibilities than normal business."
"Society evolves and as a biologist I believe that the university should evolve too in order to be successful in the long term. It is all about the survival of the fittest! Utrecht University can and will survive!”