4 minutes with… Eric Enqvist, Managing Partner, SciTech-Service Oy

16f4111Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

SciTech-Service is a science based technology development company. 7 experts and a laboratory with 4 technicians + world class piloting equipment. We support equipment manufacturers and biorefining companies with complementary development assets. Our aim is always industrially applicable technology solutions, not just basic research.

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

We are continuously supporting our customers in their endeavors to better harness the potential of the bioeconomy. Our current offering includes know-how in e.g. specialty cellulose production, hemicellulose extraction, lignin extraction and technologies for production of regenerated cellulose products.

The area of regenerated cellulosics is a new addition to our offering. We can now support customers in the specialty cellulose area with know-how regarding cellulose quality, reactivity and suitability for viscose etc. production. Our assets enable the testing of pulp all the way to testing of final viscose filaments. Our goal is to help the bioeconomy mature in terms of focusing on industrially applicable solutions.

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

All ideas need to be viewed in terms of industrial plants = industrial process concepts. The plants are so complex that “nothing is clear until everything is clear”, all inputs and outputs must be known.

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

More emphasis on the industrial applicability of the ideas. This would give transparency to investors and policymakers. The rest then follows.

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?  

First line of my 2006 PhD thesis:”With the exception of agriculture and fishing, the wood products industry is unique in that it uses a completely renewable raw-material”. Still valid.

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

Helsinki, Finland

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?

I studied Pulping Technology at the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) for both a Masters and PhD degree. At the time of choice the pulping industry was one where Finland was a world leader.

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

The biggest single professional impact has been by my former professor and current colleague – Prof.Panu Tikka. He both inspired me to do the PhD and subsequently to join the SME scene in the bioeconomy, never a dull day…

Other inspiring impacts have come from the interaction with customers. Anyone looking to convert heterogeneous biomass to sellable product has an interesting story to tell, it is never easy.

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