SINTEF Tel-Tek at Herøya is a research team with 20 industrial specialists involved in some thirty small and large projects - some in the 100 million NOK class. They are part of SINTEF Industri and the research institute SINTEF with as many as 2000 researchers in Norway.
Karsten Rabe is very happy with his new job. "We are a very nice bunch with several nationalities here. It is incredibly fun and rewarding to be a leader for highly educated and self-reliant good people. We are lucky to work with many exciting projects that in the long run will mean something for both the industry and for society as a whole," Rabe says.
"The advantage of working as a researcher in SINTEF Industri is to be able to follow, not just one customer, but follow a subject area for one or two years, and afterwards be able to use that competence further into another project with different disciplines and challenges."
Come to us when you need to solve a challenge
SINTEF contributes with research and technology development so that customers can improve and develop in the right direction.
"We help with everything from optimizing processes in the industry, using new technology or new raw materials, to developing new products. We work throughout the value chain," he says.
"We offer to contribute to technology-improving society, ie that we are able to help companies and industry here in the Grenland region to a greater extent than today. And perhaps also help to link companies together and to apply for the right customized support schemes that exist both in Norway and in the EU. We believe that we are quite good at obtaining funds. We are here for companies and industry, not for ourselves," says Karsten Rabe.
"The customers come to SINTEF, but we want even more to come to us, or that they think, - maybe I should call Karsten to hear if he has any contacts or ideas? In addition to facilitating for the research group here, I want to be a "GO TO" that can guide people on to experts in SINTEF, who in turn can help solve a specific problem."
Make industry more competitive
"I am passionate about helping to improve the industry, ie typically now on the green shift, which in turn makes industry more competitive."
SINTEF is increasing its staff at Herøya. "We will be 20 here soon. We are currently recruiting three new ones, but in SINTEF in total I have 2000 good colleagues that I can also play on.
A lot is about green shift now. Here in Grenland, there are very good conditions for success. And we face challenges like many others, including gaining access to enough green energy."
CO2, digitization, cost estimation and powder technology
"What makes Grenland special is that here is the whole spectrum of Norway's process industry, I might say in miniature, but it's really large scale. Common to several of the companies is the need for core competence in powder technology. At SINTEF Tel-Tek we have been working on this for a long time. We also work a lot with CO2 reduction. Together with the University of Southeast Norway (USN), we have a CO2 lab and joint projects on separation, capture and transport, and the use of CO2 (CCUS)."
He believes that by being established in an industrial park, SINTEF is offered many opportunities. "Here you can get most things, hydrogen, energy and water. Herøya Industripark AS constantly receives questions from companies that ask about opportunities to connect to CO2, for example."
The biggest project is a pilot at Herøya
Currently, the biggest project for SINTEF is Pyro CO2, where CO2 emissions will become a raw material.
"The project is comprehensive, and is led by colleagues in Trondheim. Among other things, we will contribute to building a pilot at Herøya in collaboration with Herøya Industripark AS. That is one of the reasons why we are now hiring a joint resource together with the Industrial Park company," he says.
"Also we have started two networks, DigiPro, which is the digitization of the process industry, and CC plus, the center for climate-positive technologies. This is to create a spin-off on ideas. We do this together with Herøya Industripark AS, USN and the Powered by Telemark cluster and several companies. It is not necessarily SINTEF that will run all the projects. In DigiPro, there are projects where Norse, the University of Agder and others are involved, but not us. It is the actual development created in the networks that is most important."
Roadmap for climate most important
"Which project would you say has provided great benefit here in the region?
"I could mention many, but recently I think the roadmap project to become a climate-positive industrial region by 2040 was important. It is used a lot, and I personally think it is good. I think it has affected the industry positively to how they think. The companies look at each other a little more, and compare size ratios."
Make a difference
Rabe points out that the techno-economics group Sintef has at Herøya is important. "We can cost estimate technologies and processes that do not exist today. We can assess whether investments are sensible, and sometimes point out that research should be put in place, and in the right place. I think we can make a difference in this area as well."
He has no plans to become a politician, he chooses to be influential from SINTEF instead. Both asking the questions, and being in an environment with professionally good people, he finds fun and rewarding. "Researchers here are better than me in almost all academic points, no problem, because I will still ask questions."
23. June 2022