Hot Seat: Dr. Jan Brummung

Last updated on: 10 Nov, 2022

Hello Jan, nice to welcome you to our HotSeat today. Please explain to our readers: What does InnoSyn do and what do you stand for as a company?

Our company name InnoSyn stands for “innovative synthesis”. InnoSyn was previously an R&D department of DSM in the Netherlands for 25 years and was fully spun off in 2017. As a so-called CDMO, we are an independent service provider that works on the development of various chemical processes, starting with the initial idea through to industrial implementation and production. Our solutions are always tailored to the individual requirements of our customers. For example, we offer “Route Scouting Services” for the target molecules targeted by the customer in order to design the individually most cost-effective and most efficient reaction route from scratch. In addition, we work for many companies that are established in the market and, for example, optimize individual reaction steps of processes that have been in existence for decades through the use of new technologies.

That sounds exciting. Which innovative technologies are used at InnoSyn?

Next to classic organic chemistry, we use, for example, our biocatalysis platform, the complementary chemocatalysis platform, as well as photochemistry and flow chemistry (continuous manufacturing). In addition, we are increasingly working on bio-based, sustainable process management.

In which chemical markets are your customers typically active?

Due to our DSM history, we traditionally often work for pharmaceutical companies. However, the autonomy and independence of DSM has opened many doors for us since 2017. In general, our process solutions are attractive to all fine and specialty chemical manufacturers who are concerned with the efficient production of small molecules. Accordingly, our customer portfolio is now a colorful mix of diverse industries: Flavor & Fragrance, agrochemicals, food supplements, dyes, textiles, fuel additives, functional monomers, and much more.

So why did your customers choose you as a partner and what do you think makes InnoSyn stand out from other CDMOs on the market?

Due to the fact that dozens of processes have already been successfully established by our employees in the chemical industry in our 30-year history, we have a very high level of expertise in the company. Dutch companies are also often set up with flat hierarchies and around half of our scientists have a doctorate. Accordingly, we often exchange highly scientific information in groups about the current project challenges and maintain close contact with customers. Our chemists, biologists and engineers are involved in the project tasks right from the start, which means that we usually work on process solutions in a completely unbiased and technology-open manner. In addition, we always keep in mind that our developments are also scalable and not just work on a small scale. With our own pilot plant right next to our laboratory premises on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus (Geleen, NL) we offer a “One Stop Shop” for our customers, from the first feasibility study to commercial production.

Are there current developments and trends in the market that you find particularly interesting?

I see a huge need for sustainable, eco-friendly solutions across all chemical industries. I support this development and in my view there is ultimately no alternative. The use of flow chemistry, for example, which is characterized by extremely good material and heat exchange, is particularly noteworthy. When used as needed, continuous process control leads to more selective production, while often reducing the space requirements and energy costs of the production process. At InnoSyn, we design the flow reactors ourselves and adapt them individually to the respective process requirements using 3D metal printing. A lot has also happened in the field of biocatalysis in recent years. Nowadays, enzyme engineering can be used to optimize catalysts in a very reaction-specific manner, which promises a long-term, sustainable solution. However, as often as the word “green” may be used, in the end companies are always concerned with the potential for cost savings. The nice thing about the technologies mentioned is that they combine both: They are often more sustainable than the classic chemical processes and, thanks to their efficiency, they save on production costs at the same time. A win-win solution for business and the environment, so to speak.

That sounds very promising. Thanks for the interview and good luck in establishing these technologies in the chemical industry!

Link to the homepage: