Working on the world of tomorrow: Plant One Becomes the new owner of the Bioprocess Pilot Facility

Working on the world of tomorrow: Plant One Becomes the new owner of the Bioprocess Pilot Facility

Rotterdam firm Plant One is the new owner of the former Bioprocess Pilot Facility. At the Biotech Campus Delft, Plant One offers companies the opportunity to test whether their innovative product is suitable for production on an industrial scale. Menno Rus, Technical Director at Plant One Delft, enthusiastically explains what the plans are.

The Biotech Campus Delft is buzzing with activity. From start-ups to multinationals, innovative products and production processes in the fields of food, biochemistry, and biotechnology are being developed here. But successful laboratory-scale innovation is not automatically suited to large-scale production, with Plant One Delft acting as the link between small- and large-scale. Here, companies can make large quantities of their product for testing, and convince the industry of the feasibility of their innovation.

A solution

Technical Director Menno Rus is proud of the facility. "We have five thousand square meters of high-quality production facilities here," he says. "If a good idea turns into a product, we can make tens to thousands of liters of it here. And we not only produce it, but we also filter, separate, and dry it." There are not many facilities like this in the world, Rus says. "There is also a great deal of development happening in the field of biotechnology, involving major challenges: We need to get rid of fossil fuels, livestock need to be smaller, and we need to produce alternative forms of food. Countless companies are working on bio-based answers to these challenges. At the same time, it is almost impossible for them to build a pilot plant for this purpose, as applying for permits and facilities alongside the current shortage of personnel is not easy. Plant One Delft is a solution for them."

First customers

Rus is therefore not surprised that immediately after the takeover on April 10, the first customers contacted him spontaneously. "We are still in the orientation phase," he says, "so for now they are just conversations. But it's looking good." Meanwhile, he is working on getting the plant up and running. "Plant One Delft continues the activities previously conducted under the banner of the Bioprocess Pilot Facility. However, although the facility has been well maintained recently by an operations manager, it has been idle for over a year. This means that we need to completely overhaul the plant and bring it back into operation. In addition, we need to attract the right people so that we can give our customers the best service. We need well-trained operators, in addition to people who can advise our customers on how it all works." Plant One has a comparable facility in Rotterdam. "There, we work for and with start-ups in new energy, recycling, and sustainability. The scope is different, but the concept is similar. We are taking the experience of successfully running a commercial pilot facility in Rotterdam to Delft. We are certain that this will be a success."

A unique experience with us

That's not to say that there aren't challenges. "Finding good staff is the hardest part," Rus says. "We are looking for highly qualified people who know how to get things done. People like that are scarce and can go and work anywhere. However, we offer something that they will have trouble finding elsewhere: the opportunity to work in a flat organization on shaping the world of tomorrow, where their work is challenging and varied. Where else are you going to find that?"

In the coming years, Rus expects Plant One Delft to be brimming with work. "We can serve dozens of customers here, and it's already taking off," he says with satisfaction. He feels at home at the Biotech Campus Delft. "The mix of companies that are here is very interesting: from small to very large. Plant One Delft fits in perfectly with that and we look forward to getting to know all the residents of the campus."

Rus is already looking to the future, too. " companies at Plant One Delft come to the conclusion that their product is technically feasible and relevant to the market, then there is room to expand considerably at the Biotech Campus Delft. Plant One Delft might be able to contribute to that." But it hasn't reached that point yet. For now, Rus has his hands full with the successful relaunch of the pilot facility. "Within a few months, we will be serving our first customer," he predicts.

Photo: The involved infront of former BPF, Menno Rus 4th from right