Vision & Strategy

Positive impact, game-changing R&D

With few exceptions, the world’s leading companies are actively seeking out viable, game-changing ways to make their products and packaging more renewable. As a market leader in the field of advanced catalysis research, Avantium helps leading companies make this happen.

We believe that few industries are so well positioned to positively impact the world as is advanced chemical catalysis. By actively seeking out collaborations and partnerships with forward-thinking brands and helping them creating their own proprietary processes, we hope to accelerate the advancement towards better and more profitable products and services. We already have the services and systems in place to further accelerate catalysis R&D and speed up the introduction of chemical innovations to the marketplace.

Because the demand for renewable solutions will continue to rise exponentially in the coming years, we will also accelerate our own growth through partnerships and acquisitions. We will particularly seek out collaborations that quicken the pace of our innovation, advance our internal development programs and increase our critical mass.

A brief history of Avantium

Catalytic R&D for groundbreaking innovations

Avantium was founded in February 2000 as a spin-off from Shell. The objective was to accelerate and exploit the application of high-throughput R&D, initially developed by Shell for catalysis research, across a range of industries. An international consortium of strategic, financial and university partners joined to set up Avantium as a technology company specialized in high-throughput R&D. During the first years of our existence, our strategic aim was to apply high-throughput technology across a range of applications and industries. We invested significant resources both to advance the technology we acquired when we separated from Shell and to develop new systems and associated software. After the inception period, Avantium decided to focus on providing high-throughput technology-based R&D services to companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In 2005 we decided to also offer R&D systems to our customers, because customers had shown interest in applying our high-throughput techniques in their own laboratories.

While continuing to successfully expand our services and systems business, we made the strategic decision in 2005 to leverage our expertise in high-throughput R&D by initiating our own proprietary development programs. This was the beginning of the YXY technology: based on our strengths in catalytic development, we created a novel technology to convert plant-based carbohydrates to Furanics building blocks for making biobased chemicals, materials and fuels. This technology has evolved from an idea in 2005, to an R&D project in the following years, to the demonstration of the technology at our pilot plant in Geleen in 2011, and has moved to Synvina, the joint venture of Avantium and BASF in 2016. In January 2019 Avantium regained full ownership of Synvina and in June 2019 the business unit was renamed to Renewable Polymers.

In 2011, Avantium divested its pharmaceutical business, which became an independent company called Crystallics that relocated to the business park Amsterdam Medical Center. In 2015, Avantium sold its crystallization systems business to Technobis. With this divestment Avantium has become a focused company in the field of technology and renewable chemicals.

Today, we have a leading position in providing advanced catalysis services & systems to companies in the oil, gas, chemical and renewable industry, while concurrently undertaking development projects into breakthrough technologies for renewable chemistry under the name of Renewable Chemistries.

Company profile


Avantium, pioneering renewable chemistry

Avantium is a leading chemical technology company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. Together with its partners around the world, Avantium develops efficient processes and sustainable products made from biobased materials. Avantium offers a breeding ground for revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions. From invention to commercially viable production processes.


Following a spin-out from Royal Dutch Shell in 2000, Avantium was founded with the singular purpose of using advanced catalysis to transform the world of R&D. Our name is rooted in the Latin word for ‘forerunner’. Today, we define ourselves as a ‘creative accelerator’; a company specialized in groundbreaking innovations and technologies for catalytic R&D services and systems.

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Renewable Chemistries

Avantium’s Renewable Chemistries business unit focuses on developing and commercializing innovative products and processes in the renewable & sustainable chemistries space. We have an “incubator lab” packed with innovative programs to deliver cost competitive renewable products and processes; addressing the challenges of sustainability for future generations.

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Safety first

Safety is our highest priority in everything that we do. All Avantium employees committed to a list of so-called Golden Safety Rules. These rules remind us every single day that we take safety very serious in Avantium. We have implemented our Golden Safety Rules, we have procedures, we have good safety systems in place, but we all know that it requires continuous attention and awareness (behavior & culture) to make sure that we operate in a safe manner.

We take care of each other

In Avantium, we are working to enrich our knowledge and understanding and to change our behavior. Therefore, we will immerse ourselves in a new safety theme every three months. A few examples of the quarterly safety themes that we have had so far:

  • Giving and accepting feedback
  • The acknowledgement and recognition of unsafe situations
  • Electrical awareness
  • Housekeeping

Golden Safety Rules

We take care of each other

We are responsible of our own safety and that of others
We give and accept feedback, we ask when in doubt
We learn from our mistakes and those of others
We take the time to work in a safe way
We make sure our work area is clean and tidy
We use the right protective equipment
We assure immediate containment of unsafe situations
We report every unsafe situation