The Top Team consists of the standard bearers of ChemistryNL. They represent the large business community, knowledge institutions, SMEs and the government. The four members of the Top Team are: Emmo Meijer, Tom van Aken, Bert Weckhuysen and David Pappie. The Board of Directors of ChemistryNL consists of the members of the Top Team, without David Pappie. In addition, the Top Team has a secretariat.

Emmo Meijer
Emmo Meijer (1951) is the Chair of ChemistryNL. He studied Chemistry in Amsterdam (Free University), where he obtained his doctorate in 1979. He then worked at DSM in various positions in research and business management, where he became DSM Research Director and then the first Chief Technology Officer. He then worked as director R & D for Unilever and FrieslandCampina. He is currently also active as a member of the Board of Directors of KU Leuven, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University, board member of the AWTI and chairman of the board of TKI Agri & Food. Emmo Meijer has been able to build bridges between science, industry and politics at all stages of his career, and with this he has an excellent background to be appointed as the Chair of ChemistryNL. Emmo Meijer: “The chemical sector is a dynamic sector in which many companies have reinvented themselves several times in a rapidly changing environment and that certainly will not change in view of the many challenges. Innovation in close cooperation with knowledge partners plays an important role in this. To contribute to this from ChemistryNL is extremely inspiring “.

Tom van Aken
Tom van Aken is CEO at Avantium and member of the Management Board. Avantium is a pioneer in the emerging industry of renewable and sustainable chemistry. Based on his experiences and network, he represents SMEs within the top team.

Tom van Aken started his career at DSM within the fine chemicals division, both in the Netherlands and in the United States. In 2002 he made the switch to Amsterdam-based start-up Avantium, a sustainable chemical company that makes green, recyclable plastics with the help of plant-based substances, such as industrial sugars, using self-developed technology. Van Aken was initially responsible for business development and was appointed CEO of Avantium in 2005. Under his leadership, the company was transformed into a technology company that focuses on renewable chemical products and materials. Avantium has laboratories in Amsterdam, a first factory in Delfzijl and a pilot plant in Geleen with the ambition to produce new, biobased products and processes on a commercial scale.

Bert Weckhuysen
Bert Weckhuysen is faculty professor of Science at the University of Utrecht and specializes in the domain of heterogeneous catalysis. He works with his research group to fundamentally understand the operation and wear of catalyst materials. For this he uses spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.

With this knowledge he tries to develop new or improved catalysts for making fuels, chemical building blocks and materials from oil, natural gas, biomass and sunlight. His research work has won many prestigious prizes, including the Royal Dutch Chemical Association’s Gold Medal, Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis from the North American Catalysis Society, the International Catalysis Award from the International Association of Catalysis Societies, the Bourke Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Spinoza Premium from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences. 

David Pappie
David Pappie is Director of Top Sectors and Industrial Policy at the Directorate-General for Business and Innovation (DG B & I) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. DG B & I is responsible for generic entrepreneurship policy, the top sector approach, contacts with the business community, the knowledge and innovation policy, ICT and regulatory pressure and policy for the biobased economy.

David Pappie studied Pharmaceutical Chemistry at VU University Amsterdam and previously worked at Shell.

Secretariat Topteam 

The secretariat of the Top Team consists of the following persons:

Erik Verbrugge (Industry)
Robert Thijssen (Economic Affairs)
Monique Wekking (TO2)
Mark Schmets (science)
Roderik Potjer (communication)