Hello Everybody and welcome to this new episode of ‘Business Planet’ here in Ghent in Belgium. Key Enabling Technolgies such as nanotechnology and industrial biotechnology are bound to relaunch the industry in Europe. These technologies should make it possible to convert excellent scientific research into competitive marketable products. This is exactly what a small local SME has been doing!
Let’s take a look. This company is specialized in extraction of natural products and more in particular in the production of oil for the cosmetics industry or food supplements. A few months ago, the CEO of the company faced a serious dilemma: A client asked me to develop a new double extraction process but to make sure that it worked well before making an extra investment of about 1 million euros we needed to test the processes on a semi industrial scale. Kris eventually tested and validated the processes in a pilot plant which had all the necessary infrastructure. In the end the operation paid of well: At the moment Eco-Treasures are at the point of signing a contract of several hundreds of thousands euros which represents doubling or tripling our annual turnover and allowing us to recruit 7 new employees. Two figures to illustrate just what’s at stake. In 2008 the global market for Key Enabling Technologies was worth 646 billion euros and its on track to being worth over 1 trillion by 2015. Since 2010 over 100 entrepreneurs have come to Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant to improve or scale-up biobased processes. For example there are clients that come to us and say ‘We have a problem, we need to produce 2 tons of our product’ Well here we can do that, you can’t do that in a simple laboratory. The initiative is co-financed by European funds, Belgium’s Flanders region and the Netherlands. It’s a flexible and versatile platform which is totally independant and has no industrial shareholders, a unique concept which responds to an actual demand. When you are an SME and you want to develop a process at industrial scale or you want to construct your own pilot plant, that would cost a lot and take a long time! We can help you very quickly and for lot less money. For me the keys to success are: having a network of specialists and the necessary dedicated equipment; always testing on a semi industrial scale before launching a new project and staying level-headed.