What drives us
Niaga® is a group of people who believe that we can greatly improve our environmental impact, comfort and wealth by rethinking the way everyday products are made. We’re deeply troubled by how the complexity of the ingredients in the products we use limits us from reusing and recycling their materials.
Norbert van der Nap
Norbert, co-founder of Niaga® and responsible for markets, strategy and commerce, has spent his whole career in the carpet industry, from sales to R&D, and as entrepreneur as well as a consultant. Describing himself as always being an optimist, he says: “Only we can make the difference.” One difference he would like to see continue is the Dutch policy of charging a refundable deposit on PET bottles, to encourage recycling.
Michel is responsible for increasing Niaga’s scientific knowledge and expertise so we can develop new application concepts and engineer breakthroughs. “I really like the way of thinking at Niaga®, and that I can develop concepts with their end of life in mind. There are a lot of challenges ahead of us, but we can make this world a better place
for us and for generations to come.”
Katia van Eldik
Katia has been with Niaga® since the early days and loves working with people who are passionate about what they do. She’s witnessed the progress, the setbacks, the ups and downs. As our customers’ first point of management contact, she’s truly in the middle of things and an ace organizer as well. “It’s really exciting to see all the hopes we have being realized; to see the Niaga® concept coming to life.”
Chris, an experienced carpet and sustainable materials innovator, founded Niaga®. Today he is responsible for product development and, in his “chaos pilot” role, for thinking up new product opportunities. He believes the world is at a tipping point that makes it possible to look afresh at products, services, materials and communication. “Through this we can involve everyone on our planet in design-for-reuse processes that will help safeguard raw materials for future generations.” Polyester is a perfect example: “Pure polyester waste can be reprocessed as virgin polyester and reused again and again, more economically and without any loss of quality.”
Brigit is responsible for setting budgets and monitoring Niaga’s ongoing business performance. Previously operations controller for 10 cocoa plants in Europe, West Africa and Indonesia, she says: “I love people with ambition and an open mind, who have the ability to think differently.” She describes herself as an optimist – “although I tend to be realistic, which might sometimes appear pessimistic.”
Bruce is a sales and marketing pro with a flair for entrepreneurship. In his career, he has sold industrial and specialty chemicals and carpet fibers, including biobased fibers. He launched the first branded poultry in the US, and once owned three gas stations/stores, and a seafood market and restaurant. “I hope to use my experience as an entrepreneur and in selling, to make the Niaga® business a success.”
Margreeth is a real spider in the Niaga® web. She’s responsible for customer service in the Benelux. She oversees shipments. She’s our contact for sourcing issues and for export documents. “Niaga® is a great concept because it’s sustainable and has zero loss of quality! The message is simple and I’m confident that simplicity is the key to convincing people. I’m an optimist, and I hope things will improve.”
Wim van Roij
Wim researches and develops the technical aspects of the carpet-making and carpet-recycling processes. He also designs and builds prototype production machines. “I was Niaga’s first employee, and I joined because I found it a special, beautiful project,” he notes. “The more complex the technical problem is, the more I enjoy it.”
Josse has over 20 years’ experience of getting new materials to market, and loves it that, through Niaga®, he can have a positive impact on how society approaches and handles materials. “It frustrates me that society often doesn’t dare to change, even though it is clear we need to.” Josse believes change begins with yourself, and hopes reuse will become the norm in society.
Lukas joined Niaga® to help scale an innovation he believes will have a huge impact. “The idea of redesigning products at the material science level to reduce complexity and unpredictable health impacts is cool.” Impatient to push sustainability faster, Lukas is convinced his kids can live in a much nicer environment and hopes that, with today’s challenges solved, they’ll work on solving future ones.
Petra gets a kick out of being at the heart of things, which is why being part of our management support team in the Netherlands is perfect for her. “I was very excited when I heard about DSM-Niaga, because this is a new company, and it’s always a challenge to start in an organization that has to be built up from the bottom. I like to be busy, challenged and the spider in the web.” She is.
Sven joined DSM-Niaga because we combine innovation with two more of his favorite things: start-up business and contributing to society. A technical operator with wide production experience, he says: “I love the concept and challenge of reusing Niaga®, and possibly doing the same with other materials in the future. I would love to reduce our throwaway culture.”
Jelle van der Werf
Jelle is responsible for developing and upscaling new adhesives and coatings for Niaga® Technology, and enjoys working with people who are enthusiastic about making a positive difference. As coatings and adhesives specialist, he joined Niaga® for the challenge. “For many applications, reusability and the circular economy are in their infancy. There’s a bright future for those who actively seek to innovate!”
Denise manages DSM-Niaga’s patent portfolio and is key in setting up the company’s IP strategy. A nature-lover, Denise gets a kick out of “the energy within the company and the view of the road ahead.” She also believes humans are smart enough to tackle the problems arising from changes in the Earth’s ecosystem. “It will take strong politicians, time and loads of human energy, but we will get there.”
Jos gets a kick out of succeeding as a team, and describes himself as an optimist “because of the drive so many people have in common to make the world a better place in which to live.” His favorite mono-material is cotton, and he would like to see it being reused more than it is now to mitigate the environmental and social downsides of the cotton industry.
Corné helps Niaga® to find the talented people we need to make our dream come true. As someone who gets excited by achieving goals with a team of positively minded people, he joined Niaga® because he thought the company had a great strategy, great people, “and it was a chance to do something meaningful for the world.”
Marko is driving the creation of our Niaga® Innovation Center. “The Niaga® concept excited me from the beginning, and I felt honored when Niaga® asked for my support.” An optimist who enjoys teamwork that focuses on making the future brighter, he would love to see the Dutch system under which consumers pay a refundable deposit on glass and plastic bottles, extended to more products.
Valerie is responsible for the Niaga Innovation Center, where she and her team run customer trials, explore the science behind the Niaga® cycle, and are developing new Niaga® opportunities. She loves science, sustainability and the shared vision at DSM-Niaga to make the world a better place. She hates excess packaging. And being British, she feels carpet completes a home.
Claudia, our EMEA commercial manager, is fired up about driving DSM-Niaga business. “I love passion, creativity and authenticity in people,” she says. “I joined DSM-Niaga because I got inspired by the concept, and it feels great to be part of a winning team with a mission to help change the world for the better. I am quite an impatient person, so I love action and building something together.”
Roger is our go-to person for all things related to safety, health and the environment. A natural team player, he enjoys creating safe and healthy locations in which to conduct environmentally responsible R&D. Roger is an optimist who believes in education. “We need to educate children about the need to reuse materials, sort waste and save energy. It should be normal to respect mother Earth.”
Ron has 30 years’ experience in fiber intermediates and engineering plastics. For DSM-Niaga, he is developing fit-in solutions for multipurpose carpets. An optimist who says his favorite material is multifunctional polyamide, he says: “There are still a lot of opportunities to create new sustainable fiber applications, and these should be explored.”