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DSM invests in wind propulsion company SkySails

DSM Venturing, the corporate venturing unit of Royal DSM N.V., announces today that it has made an investment in Germany-based SkySails GmbH & Co. KG (SkySails), the market and technology leader for automated towing kite systems for ships. The investment is fully in line with DSM’s strategic commitment to sustainability, innovation and partnerships, as outlined in the corporate strategy DSM in motion: driving focused growth.

Financial details of the investment by DSM Venturing in SkySails will not be disclosed. The investment is part of the current SkySails round of financing, which was with a total volume of EUR 15 million the highest CleanTech venturing investment in Germany in 2010. This financing round has now been successfully completed.

SkySails develops, produces and sells wind propulsion systems for the marine industry which are based upon large automated towing kites. Depending on the prevailing wind conditions, a ship’s average annual fuel costs and emissions can be reduced by 10 to 35% by using the SkySails-System. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumption can temporarily be cut by up to 50%. The reduced fuel consumption leads to significantly reduced costs and lower emissions to safeguard the environment.

The venturing participation is a next step in the cooperation between the two companies. To date DSM Dyneema, SkySails and rope manufacturer Gleistein have been combining their expertise in a unique three party technology partnership which focuses on the development of a special high performance rope, which delivers the unique requirements for high strength, light weight and excellent durability for wind propulsion systems. DSM’s Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, is a key component in the SkySails Kite System.

Gerard de Reuver, President DSM Dyneema said: “We are very pleased to extend our involvement with SkySails. With the development of its advanced kite based system, the company succeeded in establishing itself as a leader in the commercialization of wind propulsion solutions. I’m confident that the increased cooperation between our companies will lead to the development of a range of sustainable innovations around SkySails’ core technology for various markets.’

Stephan Wrage, Managing Director of SkySails added: “DSM Venturing’s investment is another proof point of its belief in our activities. Both DSM and SkySails are highly committed to sustainability. Their support will help us to make the most of the potential of our technology for our customers.”

The investment in SkySails brings DSM Venturing‘s portfolio of current, direct investments to a total of 18.