Life sciences and materials sciences company Royal DSM (Heerlen, The Netherlands) is pleased to announce that Atul Thakrar has been named the new President of its Bio-based Products & Services unit, with an effective date of July 1, 2015. In this role, he will be responsible for DSM’s involvement in the emerging biorenewables industry, which includes including holding board positions on the Reverdia and POETDSM Advanced Biofuels joint venture boards.
DSM’s Bio-based Products & Services unit focuses on conversion technologies in the field of renewable biomass to fuels and chemicals, with its main presence in Elgin, IL (USA), São Paulo (Brazil), and Delft (The Netherlands). Atul will be based in Delft, and will report to Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer, DSM.
DSM is involved both in the use of all types of renewable resources like wind, sun and biomass, and is increasingly using sustainable biomass as a renewable alternative to petrochemical raw materials in a broad range of applications. The company’s strategic focus is to combine what it calls its “Bright Science competencies” from life sciences with those in chemicals and materials sciences. DSM believes in the huge opportunities this combination will create in the move towards a bio-based economy, particularly in bioenergy such as cellulosic bio-ethanol, renewable chemicals including building blocks such as biobased succinic acid.
“Atul brings important commercial and business experience to DSM from both the incumbent world of energy and materials, as well as the emerging bio-renewables industry. With his track record he is an asset for DSM,” says Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer of DSM.
Atul Thakrar is a U.S. citizen, who has worked and lived in multiple countries, including China, India and Belgium. Most recently, he was President and CEO of Segetis Inc., an early-stage specialty materials start-up based in the U.S. Atul started his professional career in the oil industry in 1980 and has worked for companies like Rohm and Haas, Cytec Industries and Soane Energy LLC. In several business and strategic leadership roles.
Van Leen: “Atul’s background will be of great support to furthering our business as a leading conversion technology supplier to the biorenewables based industry.”
Atul Thakrar succeeds Anton Robek, who successfully led DSM’s platform for products and services in biofuels and bio-based chemicals since 2011. A further announcement regarding Anton Robek’s future role after handing over his responsibilities to Atul will be made in due course.
By Karen Laird