Royal order for Paul Althuis

Paul Althuis has received a royal decoration. The former director of the Innovation & Impact Centre has been appointed as Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The order was awarded to Althuis by Mayor Marja van Bijsterveldt on Friday in the Delft city hall during the traditional order ceremony (or ’Lintjesregen’) prior to King’s Day.

Althuis received the decoration because of his major and long-term commitment to innovation and realising societal impact with the knowledge developed at TU Delft.

Driving force

Under Althuis’ leadership, the academic campus of TU Delft developed into a leading innovation ecosystem. He was the driving force behind the establishment of various field labs, incubators, scale-up facilities, innovation clusters around groundbreaking technology such as quantum, collaborations with large companies and he organised access to capital for spin-offs from TU Delft through Delft Enterprises.

This made him of significance importance, not only for the city of Delft, but also for the region, province and far beyond. He played a key role in the establishment and development of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and numerous large public-private partnerships. But he also achieved impact for a better society beyond national borders. For example, the Vietnamese Thuyloi University praises Althuis’ leadership in the collaboration with TU Delft in the field of climate change.

Beloved director

Above all, Althuis was an inspiring and beloved director. Under his leadership, the Innovation & Impact Centre grew from 2 employees to more than 150 people. Marjan Kreijns responds on behalf of the I&IC management team: "This award is well deserved. Apart from all the incredibly cool and groundbreaking projects that Paul has set up, perhaps the greatest value lies in his management style. We remember him as a wonderful director who gave his employees plenty of space to realise ambitious ideas. With his strategic insight and entrepreneurial decisiveness, he was an example for many I&IC employees."

Ongoing involvement

Althuis officially retired last year after a career of more than 40 years at TU Delft. As director of the holding company and advisor to Delft Enterprises, he remains involved in the further development of the TU Delft Campus innovation ecosystem.

The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded to someone who has made a personal contribution to society for a long time. The Officer degree is awarded to someone with outstanding service of (inter)national importance.