4 minutes with… Rod Cummings, President, EUDORA Biomaterial Consulting

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

New Business Development and Management including strategic opportunity assessment, product concept definition, market research; competitive landscape evaluation; economic model, Partnership collaboration and alliance development, licensing strategies and implementation; markets and technologies scouting.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

Continue to aid clients in the sustainable materials space successfully advance competitive technologies and products by creating collaborative partnerships that can articulate a value proposition.

Aid in building a deeper understanding of biobased products fundamentals across the entire supply chain by connecting agri-processing (1st & 2nd generation) to technology developers to manufacturing to OEM/Brand Owners.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

The industry has to have business successes to gain credibility with investors and end users. Several technologies are beyond pilot/demo scale yet the article of commerce has no value proposition to buyers/end users. Our industry is mired in over stating/over selling and under delivering on investment and market sides.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

Several things has to change: 1) Patient and committed funding on the development side, 2) Legislative policy that drives stability and interest in long term change and 3) more transparency and participation from OEM’s/Brand Owners to understand the supply chain demands and desires.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

Everyone has to do their part to extend the longevity of our planet. I’m making up for lost time since I spent the first 14 years of my career in the oil & gas industry.

Where are you from? 

Pinehurst, North Carolina

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. NCSU had a great Chemical Engineering program and my 10th grade biology teacher encouraged me to pursue a science career.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

Like many young men, my greatest influence was my Dad, Charles Cummings. He taught me the value of a hard days work as well as the satisfaction of succeeding in life.

Many of the Tate & Lyle BioProducts folks like Dennis Adkesson (wrote an entry here), Chris Guske (Director of Fermentation), Stan Bower (now at Synthetic Genomics) and Pete Boynton (former CCO at Amyris) mentored me on pragmatic approaches and collaboration within cross-functional teams.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?  

Being from Pinehurst, NC; I love the game of golf (just have little time to practice this craft). My son plays travel baseball (made USA Baseball 14U development team last summer) and a daughter that plays AAU travel volleyball which makes me their #1 fan!

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?  

Is there a book informing one as to “how” to get off a deserted island? If so, then just that one.

Or just toss in any John Grisham thriller…

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island

Is there a book informing one as to “how” to get off a deserted island? If so, then just that one.
Or just toss in any John Grisham thriller…

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

I spend 2-4 hours per day reading professional journals (vary from Chemical Engineering magazine to Plastics publications and many areas in between). I usually take some daily topic and do deeper research to increase my understanding of that topic.

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

I have 3 favorites… Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Cartagena, Colombia and Tokyo, Japan. I’m working on my Cartagena retirement plan!

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