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Internship: New chemistry R&D

From our awareness about the importance of a responsible leather industry around the world, Smit & Zoon is continuously searching for sustainable solutions for the entire leather value chain. In the leather industry, R&D plays a crucial role in this search through developing chemistry into products suitable for leather processing. At  Royal Smit & Zoon, we believe that we have a social responsibility to offer a good learn & work environment for trainees. Furthermore, we target to have traineeships designed such that these are not only beneficial for the individual trainee, but also for Royal Smit & Zoon. We are currently looking for students with an interest for:


Traineeship location:

The R&D department consists of 15 chemists/chemical engineers, and the trainee is anticipated to be fulfilling the internship as a member of the research team. Dependent on the research subject, the trainee is expected to work either primarily from the R&D laboratory located on the Royal Smit & Zoon production site in Amersfoort, or jointly with the lab at the host institute (HBO/University). Note that: This company location can be reached via public transportation.

Traineeship assignments:

The R&D department has opportunities for trainees to participate in several of the ongoing projects.

In this Internship your assignment would be tailor-made to assess one or more of the following aspects of bio-based chemicals:

  • Develop a new chemical route for novel bio-based leather chemicals
  • Develop analytical methods to identify and evaluate the performance of new bio-based chemicals
  • Gather in-depth knowledge on sustainability aspects of bio-based leather chemicals from raw material sustainability “Cradle” to biodegradability of the leather (chemicals) “Grave”.

The chemical industry is experiencing big changes while moving into circular economy by for example replacing petro-based ingredients with bio-based alternatives. Since 2016, Royal Smit & Zoon, a Dutch family business with its core business in providing chemical solutions to the leather industry, has made a lot of progress developing new generation bio-based chemicals for leather making supporting the company’s vision of “creating socially and environmentally friendly leather value chain”. Next to technical feasibility, it is important to develop analytical tools and consistent theories and calculation methods to understand and evaluate sustainability aspects of these new bio-based chemicals. The aim of the internship project is to support Royal Smit & Zoon’s bio-based research direction.

Background trainee

  • HBO/University trainee
  • Chemistry, preferably Organic or Analytical
  • Engaged to build knowledge and experience in the chemical industry
  • Research oriented
  • With an open mindset and a can-do attitude
  • Interested in working in an international operating family-owned company
  • Strong interest in bio-based economy and drive towards sustainability
  • Good communicator

What do we offer?

  • Professional supervision providing valuable feedback on your performance
  • Opportunity to show your technical skills and interests
  • A competitive compensation during the traineeship
  • Royal Smit & Zoon, occasionally and based on excellent performance, offers the opportunity to trainees to extend the traineeship

About Royal Smit & Zoon

Founded in 1821, the organization is a 7th generation family-owned business dedicated to the innovation and production of high quality sustainable raw materials for leather processing. Leather is a by-product of the meat industry, with tanneries worldwide purchasing our high-quality products to process the leather so that it can be used in the automotive industry, on furniture upholstery and in the high-end fashion industry. In this, we aim to create a socially and environmentally sustainable leather chain by 2025.

Royal Smit & Zoon has grown into a renowned and highly appreciated player in the leather industry. The head office and a production location are in Weesp and we have a second Dutch production location in Amersfoort. Approximately 400 committed employees work for our companies in the Netherlands, Italy, China, India and Mexico. It is a company with a wonderful history, a clear focus and a long-term vision. 

More information:
Do you want to jumpstart your analytical chemical career and contribute to the chemical aspiration of Smit & Zoon as an intern?

For more information about this internship or the Smit & Zoon organization, please contact Mark Letter (Corporate Recruiter) at +31 6 28136119 or [email protected]

Introduction of candidates by Recruitment agencies is neither appreciated nor wanted.


Have you become enthusiastic?
Send us your resume now and apply immediately.


Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about this position? Contact our Recruiter.