Technical Tours

Experience more chemistry during the social program

On Wednesday afternoon you have the opportunity to discover the Netherlands. If you want to experience even more chemistry, we have some great tours organized for you! Sign up via the registration form.

You can also explore the Netherlands as a tourist by yourself. Some tips on what to do can be found here.

Disclaimer: The organization reserves the right to cancel any tours if the minimum number of participants is not reached. In the event of cancellation by the organization, participants will receive a full refund. Participants are not refunded if they choose to cancel on their own.
Admission is based on first come, first serve. If the maximum of a tour is reached, the tour is full and no longer available.
Transport (via arranged bus or public transportation) is included in all tours. More information will be sent to you a week in advance.

OPCW ChemTech Centre
Unique behind the scenes experience of OPCW training facilities

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre) is an important upgrade to the OPCW’s research, analytical and capacity building capabilities, and will open in May 2023. It will house the OPCW Laboratory, the Technology and Training Hub, and a fit for purpose instruction space, creating synergies and fostering closer collaboration. The ChemTech Centre is a landmark investment that ensures OPCW capabilities keep pace with scientific and technological developments in support of Member States and the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The OPCW is offering IUPAC participants a special on-site visit to the ChemTech Centre for a truly unique “behind the scenes” view of the Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities and an opportunity to engage with OPCW staff working at the Centre. A bus specifically arranged for IUPAC participants will leave around 13:30h towards the ChemTech Centre. The visit starts at 14:00h and includes a tour of the laboratory, the training facilities and the Technology and Training Hub where inspectors’ equipment and protective gear is tested, stored and maintained. You will be able to meet the OPCW staff at the Centre and ask questions about the work and mandate of the Organization. You will have the opportunity to network with the facility staff and other IUPAC attendees while enjoying a cup of coffee and a light snack. You will be back in the Hague around 17:00h.

Costs: € 15,00

Minimum: 20 participants
Maximum: 40 participants

Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam
Discover the Energy Transition Campus in the heart of Europe

The Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam (ETCA) is a place where great minds come together to tackle the world’s biggest energy challenges. The former “Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam” is redesigned in 2022 to become an open innovation campus. This renewed ETCA is a world-class technology facility with access to skills, laboratories and offices for start-ups, research institutions, academia and companies to collaborate on solutions to advance and commercialize new technology focused on energy transition. The large complex is located in the vibrant north of Amsterdam with easy access to the rest of Europe and the world, housing around 1,000 people from 50 countries.

A bus specifically arranged for IUPAC participants will leave at 13:00h towards ETCA. During the bus drive, you will receive information about the campus and how ETCA envisions to tackle the energy challenges of today. Once arrived there, you will be provided with a special tour of the facility (approximately 1 hour), where you can expect to see some really exciting developments, like the glass blowing shops and 3-D printing area. Developments in plastic circularity, geothermal energy, hydrogen, electrification, low carbon and sustainable aviation fuels, amongst others will be discussed as well. The tour guides will share how the ETCA is collaborating with their partners to tackle the energy crisis. This will be an amazing opportunity to benchmark with some of industries’ most innovative technological processes. After the informative tour you will have the opportunity to engage and network with the bright minds working at the ETCA over drinks and snacks. You will be back in the Hague around 17:30h.

Costs: € 15,00

Minimum: 24 participants
Maximum: 48 participants

Gouda Cheese Experience
Discover, feel, taste and experience everything about the world-famous Gouda Cheese

Gouda Cheese is one of the best known and most consumed cheeses in the world. Anyone who hears the name “Gouda” immediately thinks of cheese. Gouda Cheese owes its name to the fact that this Dutch cheese has been traded in the city of Gouda for centuries. The famous Gouda Cheese is still made using traditional methods in the polders around the city. From the polders, farmers bring the cheeses to the city center, near the historical city hall, where it is traded on the cheese market.

You can now experience Gouda Cheese in the one and only Gouda Cheese Experience. You will embark on a unique and interactive 90 minute journey through a golden yellow universe. We will take public transportation around 13:00h. The interactive tour starts at 14:00h and it includes a hot drink, a history talk, a treasure hunt, virtual fun and of course a tasting of the delicious Gouda Cheese. You will be back in he Hague around 17:00h.

Costs: € 25,00

Minimum: 15 participants
Maximum: 20 participants

Kompaan beer brewery
Chemistry never tasted this good

The Kompaan Craft Beer Bar is a microbrewery with a raw and authentic look that matches the industrial location in Binckhorsthaven The Hague. We have arranged a tour that combines one’s love for beer and chemistry. During your visit to Kompaan you will taste 6 delicious Kompaan beers, and eat a Dutch snack: bitterballen. After the tasting you will be given a chemistry focused tour of the brewery. The brewer himself will tell you all about the different processes that go into brewing a perfect beer. He will talk about filtration, fermentation, tangential currents and boiling and answer all your questions about these processes.

At 14:15h we will take the public transportation. The tasting starts at 15:00h and around 16:00h the brewer will provide you with a chemistry focused tour through the brewery. You will be back in the city center or at the World Forum around 17:30h.

Costs: €25,00

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 20 participants

See the Nachtwacht with new eyes

The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht, 1642), painted by Rembrandt van Rijn, is one of the most famous paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. The painting is portrayed at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. One of the most famous Dutch museums, which holds a large (8000 on site) and diverse art and historical collection from paintings to jewelry and from weapons to porcelain.

In the summer of 2019 Operation Night Watch started: the largest and most comprehensive research project ever conducted on this masterpiece. The goal is to best preserve the painting for the future. This special project is executed on site in a glass house. So join us for a visit to the Rijksmuseum and experience the research in action! Download the free Rijksmuseum app for an even more enjoyable experience. A bus specifically arranged for IUPAC participants will leave at 12:45h towards the Rijksmuseum. You will enter the museum at 14:00h, which means you will have 2.5 hours to explore the museum by yourself.

And that’s not all. After seeing the beautiful collection by yourself, we have arranged prof. dr. Katrien Keune, Head of Science and leading the scientific research of the Operation Night Watch project, to provide an exclusive IUPAC tour behind the scenes through the Atelier Building. The Atelier Building houses the Rijksmuseum conservation studios and laboratories. In addition, Keune will tell you all about the key findings of Operation Night Watch and analysis techniques used in the research. You will be back in The Hague around 19:30h.

Costs: € 35,00
Participants with a Dutch Museum Card can order their ticket for the tour for €15,00

Minimum: 15 participants
Maximum: 30 participants

The chemistry of art

In the center of The Hague you will find the Mauritshuis, a museum that is home to one of the finest collections of 17th-century Dutch paintings. Here you can see masterpieces such as Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt van Rijn, alongside 250 other spectacular paintings. Download the free multimedia tour and learn the stories behind the masterpieces.

Besides discovering the museum by yourself and visiting the prestigious collection, you will receive an exclusive tour of the conservation studio by Abbie Vandivere, painting conservator at the Mauritshuis. She will explain how chemistry and physics are used to make discoveries about paintings, and show some examples of paintings undergoing art conservation and restoration. Discover the mystery of the lost soldier on the Pieter de Hooch painting, and how conservators can determine whether or not a painting is a Rembrandt. We will take public transportation around 13:00h. The tour starts at 14:00h and ends at 16:00h.

Costs: €20,00
Participants with a Dutch Museum Card can order their ticket for the tour for €10,00

Minimum: 10 participants
Maximum: 20 participants

Organizing team
The technical tours were prepared by our team consisting of Nine Gerrits, Eric Brouwer and Patrick van Vliet.