The parties signed a long-term agreement at the end of 2004, involving a RMB36 million (€3.8m) investment from DSM. This gives it laboratory space in Fudan University, where it will initially employ 10 scientists to research chiral technologies, synthetic methods for the industrial production of vitamins, carotenoids and new food and feed ingredients.
Tough competition in global vitamin and carotenoids markets is forcing the world's leading vitamin maker to investigate new, more cost-effective production methods.
For example, it is currently working on a one-step fermentation process for vitamin C that would eliminate the chemical conversion step used currently.
The deal is also part of DSM's strategy to grow its business and R&D activities in the Chinese market. The group is aiming to double sales there to $1 billion by 2010 and has recently gained a controlling interest in two joint ventures with Chinese vitamin maker NCPC.
In a statement, DSM said the laboratory represents "a new model of collaboration between multinational enterprises and China's leading scientific research institutions", allowing it to reinforce its involvement in one of its most important markets.
Fudan university is one of China's best-recognized institutions internationally. Several years ago, it began creating strong business relationships with local food and feed ingredient producers.
In September, DSM opened a 20-person R&D centre in Shanghai, which will initially cater for the Nutritional Products, Food Specialties and NeoResins units.