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Business

DIRK MARTIN: “amusement factor” of coming from Luxembourg does not last long

sewage network, such as remote communities, holiday resorts and oil drilling sites. Martin says the water can be used for irrigation or discharged onto to the ground, saving both environmental fees and the amount of new water that needs to be purchased. The water “ has a quality standard of far higher purity than required in Europe and even Canada, one of the most stringent in the world.” GOING GLOBAL In addition to Luxembourg, it has sold into Canada, France, Germany and the UK. “There’s an amusement factor when you say you come from Luxembourg. But once customers see the products it’s irrelevant where you come from.” Sweden is where Boson Energy’s technology comes from, but the biomass concern set up shop in the Grand Duchy last year. Initially the company planned to only have its legal headquarters in Luxembourg and not actual operations, explains co-founder and chair Jan Grimbrandt. “Then we met with the minister of economy and Luxinnovation, and hmmm, something really switched on.” The firm decided to “dig

where we stand” which rather fits in with its value proposition. “The basic fundamental of our product is to go IMBY: in my backyard.” Boson specialises in relatively small-scale cogeneration biomass plants, which typically produce less than one megawatt of electricity plus slightly more than that in equivalent heat. This makes it well suited to take advantage of government guarantees for selling renewable energy to the power grid, makes it possible to grow and transport the grasses that fuel the plants within a localised area, and means the biomass generators can more easily fit into existing industrial sites. Today Boson is developing a demonstration site with a very well known Luxembourg company and is currently negotiating plans with another well known local industrial player. Customers in Germany, Italy and Poland are also in its sights. KEY SUPPORT Epuramat also received patronage from Luxembourg institutions. It was one of the very first startups to win the 1,2,3,GO business plan competition, which pro-

vides financial backing to encouraging young start-ups. Martin says 1,2,3,GO “ helped us put a stick in the ground and establish the company.” Now that Epuramat is selling products “we have strong support from the government taking us on state visits and trade missions.” For his part Schummer stresses all the government-led initiatives available today are key for opening doors, especially internationally, but ultimately companies still have to have better products and services to succeed, no matter what the Grand Duchy’s leaders do. When “it comes to contract negotiations… it’s only the quality and know-how which is important.” At the same time, “I wouldn’t have had a chance” of signing Boson’s major deals without the support of the economy ministry and Luxinnovation, says Grimbrandt. “They opened a few doors and arranged meetings.” The institutions were not only helpful at introducing potential customers, but local partners as well. “I asked them questions about which companies might have these types of capabilities. Then, bam, bam, bam... now we have a complete supply chain.”

30 - delano - October 2011

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23.09.2011 10:30:51 Uhr

Delano October 2011  

Delano Magazine October 2011

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