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Researchers team up with customers in the search for green global products

Bioenvision's first commercial breakthrough on their environmentally friendly flame retardant product, D-PYRE, triggers more R&D activity for the research team at Herøya Forskningspark.
three persons, lab, white coats Bioenvision's research team, from left Sissel Bjørge, Brian Wabende and Darya Zeini, gear up R&D activities in the test laboratories in Herøya Forskningspark, Porsgrunn.

Bioenvision's first commercial breakthrough for D-Pyre, an environmentally friendly flame retardant product, opens up new product opportunities for the research-intensive company established in the research facilities at Herøya Forskningspark.

Alfa and Omega

"The first two commercial contracts are alpha and omega for us, say the Bioenvision management, Morten Eikenes, CEO and Espen Solberg, CCO. "This means that players in the transport and sports industry have approved products for use both as flame retardants and as substitutes for environmentally toxic chemicals.

two men posing, office area, portraits
From left Morten Eikenes, CEO and Espen Solberg, CCO at Bioenvision.

Interest opens up more possibilities

In addition, the breakthrough has sparked great interest and opened up more product possibilities.

"The exciting thing now is that we have a lot of possibilities," says Espen Solberg. "This is where the research team comes in, that there is a development between the customer and the lab. We can send our samples to the customers, then they can test, and maybe adjust a little the way they do things, and we adjust. It can go back and forth, perhaps several times, before we find the right formulation. It is tailor-made, and takes time. But now we have many things going on, especially within flame retardants for the transport industry. That is the main focus going forward."

Gearing up R&D

Funzionano's research team is gearing up R&D activities in the hunt for green products in the test laboratories in Herøya Forskningspark.

"We are very involved together with our customers," say the researchers, Sissel Bjørge, Brian Wabende and Darya Zeini.

three people at work in lab
From left Darya Zeini, Sissel Bjørge and Annie Knutsen at Funzionano's test laboratories at the research facilities at Herøya.

Sissel Bjørge, the last new employee in October 2022, believes that all green products start in the research team.

"Very often it starts with the R&D team working together with the customer to create the product. This works best for the customer. We work closely with customers, who help us in the further development phase."

Find new areas

Darya Zeini, also a newly employed researcher at Funzionano since September last year, believes that the best thing about Bioenvision's technology is that it can be tailored to customers' needs. She likes that customers become partners with the research team.

"We need feedback and input when we develop and improve the products, but also find more areas where we can get involved and help customers."

Brian Wabende adds that they are constantly working to adapt the product related to the need and what suits customers.


Great collaboration

"It is a big collaboration, a collaboration that is important for developing both products and also the company," the researchers believe.

Presenting the researchers

portrait of woman, blond hair, with lab coat
Sissel Bjørge, MoSc polymer chemistry from NTNU. Started in last October at Funzionano. Did her master's thesis at Hydro on Herøya in 1989. Worked at Jotun with product development, HSE, raw materials, pigments, then the Norwegian Wood Technology Institute and Solenis. Recently she left DSB, and is back in industry and R&D as Technical application manager.

"It is very exciting to do something new within this market, particularly because we are developing green products that are good for the future."
portrait of young woman, with lab coat, lab
Darya Zeini, started in Funzionano on the 1st of September. She came to Norway for her PhD, studied at the University of Oslo, and worked in a Bioenvision subsidiary in the research park in Oslo. Educated in materials engineering, biomaterials, biopolymers, engaged in research for many years, mainly in biopolymers and green additives for use in antifouling and now in flame retardant substances.

"The best thing about working with green additives is helping to solve the environmental problems of the future," says Darya. "In the flame retardant products we make here, we replace toxic additives with green additives, and also reduce the amount of doses compared to those used today."
portrait of young man, white lab coat
Brian Wabende from Kenya, has been in Norway since 2005. Educated in physics, chemistry, material science and took a master's in materials chemistry at the University of Oslo, and a master's in renewable energy with a focus on hydrogen. Worked in Oslo municipality, trainee and employee at SINTEF, and now Funzionano since February 2021.

"I like working with R&D that contributes to creating environmentally friendly technology and products. We are a very good team here," says Brian.


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