Media release

Deventer Open Innovation Center becomes S/park; opens its doors for high-tech chemistry

March 23, 2018

S/park is the new name for the open innovation center located at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ site at Deventer, the Netherlands. S/park, a partnership between the company and local and regional government, aims to be a breeding ground for open innovation in chemistry and technology.

Mark Leeuw, formerly employed by the East Netherlands Development Agency, will become director of S/park. “Open innovation is about chemistry between people. S/park offers low-threshold access to unique knowledge and facilities that are normally inaccessible for many companies, startups, researchers and students. We want to be a catalyst that triggers the right reactions. Together we work on the chemtech companies of tomorrow and on employment in the region.”

The first two residents will shortly take up residence at S/park.

- Exxfire focuses on fire prevention and control in ICT servers and the aviation sector. The company started in 2011 and won the (Dutch business university) Nyenrode Innovation Contest that year, followed by an innovation credit from the government in 2012. Its first products have already been successfully launched on the market.

- T-Minus Engineering develops solutions for measurements in the upper atmosphere and in space. These systems are mainly used for research into climate and long-term weather phenomena. Its latest product, the T-Minus DART propellant has an ‘increased risk’ classification, which requires excellent facilities in safety and the relevant permits.


S/park is the place to go in Europe for the most demanding chemistry and technology where safety, process control and knowledge of laws and regulations are essential. There, young companies can partner with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals to develop and scale up new applications and products in chemistry. Companies, knowledge institutes, entrepreneurs, investors and students gain access to a working environment that includes a large knowledge and business network, special research facilities, such as a unique safety laboratory, analytical laboratory, pilot plants with possibilities to scale up production and education and training facilities.

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals said: “Through knowledge exchange, we and other companies, startups, scale-ups and knowledge institutes can come together to pioneer chemtech innovations and new applications in highly demanding chemistry.”

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