A brief history

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The year 2023 marked the culmination of a history stretching back over more than 125 years of purpose-led scientific discovery and innovation. The creation of dsm-firmenich brought together two industry leaders united by their long-standing commitment to sustainability and their gift for continuous evolution in an ever-changing world.

Building on more than a century of transformation

DSM has had a long history of reinvention. Set up in 1902 to mine coal reserves in the southern Netherlands, its name originally stood for Dutch State Mines. Over the course of the 20th century, DSM transformed itself into a chemical company, beginning as early as 1919 with the opening of a coking plant.

From the 1990s onward, DSM underwent another transformation – this time, into a company focused on science-based health, nutrition, and sustainable living. Along the way, DSM worked with a wide range of partners to deliver innovative solutions that nourish, protect, and improve performance.

From a startup to a global house of creators

Firmenich was founded as a startup in 1895, in Geneva (Switzerland) – more specifically, in the garage of Charles Firmenich. It was originally the business of Philippe Chuit, a scientist and visionary perfumery ingredients creator, and Martin Naef, a shrewd businessman. They were soon joined by entrepreneur Frédéric Firmenich.

After the retirement of Chuit, and later Naef, the Firmenich family became the sole shareholder. In 1939, the company’s first research head, Leopold Ruzicka, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Over the years, Firmenich evolved – creating groundbreaking molecules, developing new flavors and fragrances, and driving sustainability.

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