Avantium was founded in February 2000 as a spin-off from Shell. The objective was to accelerate and exploit the application of high-throughput R&D, initially developed by Shell for catalysis research, across a range of industries. An international consortium of strategic, financial and university partners joined to set up Avantium as a technology company specialized in high-throughput R&D. During the first years of our existence, our strategic aim was to apply high-throughput technology across a range of applications and industries. We invested significant resources both to advance the technology we acquired when we separated from Shell and to develop new systems and associated software. After the inception period, Avantium decided to focus on providing high-throughput technology-based R&D services to companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In 2005 we decided to also offer R&D systems to our customers, because customers had shown interest in applying our high-throughput techniques in their own laboratories.