MetGen's enzymes generate millions in savings to the forest industry

8/25/2015
The paper and pulp industry keeps struggling with the same challenges: How to accelerate the process while saving energy and reducing environmental impacts. The enzymes developed by MetGen Oy, a company based in Kaarina, Finland, offer an ecological solution to this problem. The solution also convinced the EU Horizon 2020 programme funders.

Founded in 2008, MetGen has a simple business idea: to accelerate its customers' production process, to lower their energy costs and to reduce the environmental impact of the production process. Instead of using sophisticated control electronics and systems, MetGen uses a chemical solution, more specifically enzymes, tailored to meet the paper and pulp industry's needs.

The solution is to use naturally occurring digestive enzymes and to modify them for optimal fit in the industrial process. After modification, enzymes can withstand temperatures of up to 90 degrees and break down matter much faster than they normally would.

 For industrial plants such as paper mills this generates significant annual energy savings.

“Other applications for customised enzymes include the manufacture of biofuels from waste materials, and wastewater treatment. The future outlook for enzyme applications is promising, to say the least,” says MetGen CEO Alex Michine.

Aiming at leadership

 MetGen is a research-focused company in the process of introducing its very first products to the market, and therefore has a modest turnover. But according to Michine, a breakthrough is just around the corner.

“We may experience extremely fast and aggressive growth. Our objective is to gain global leadership in the enzymatic treatment of lignocellulosic biomass,” he envisions.

 Various funding providers have understood the potential of the enzyme business and consider MetGen an appealing investment.

 In addition to a start-up loan and Young Innovative Companies funding from Tekes, MetGen has also received funding from Avera, Finnvera and Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. Other door openers included first place in the European Venture Contest in 2010, and funding provided by the French Sofinnova Partners and the Swiss Emerald Technology Venture Fund.

An extra boost from the SME instrument

 MetGen recently received a funding decision for the Horizon 2020 SME instrument.

“The SME instrument provides a unique funding opportunity and a channel for finding the right partners outside a major consortium,” Michine explains.

The CEO also gives credit to the long-standing partnership with Tekes.

 “Tekes' support and expertise have been extremely valuable for us in the practical, industrial-scale application of our product. They have helped us bridge the valley of death that often becomes the stumbling block for many start-ups,” he adds.

More information

CEO Alex Michine
Tel. +358 40 543 37 40
alex @ metgen.com

 

Soile Thalén
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