“Within the bioeconomy we have a massive range of new tools and opportunities to exploit this chaotic time.” To say it – in this long exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, the Australia-based biochemical company, which is revolutionizing the traditional chemical sector. With him we talk about his company and the bioeconomy in the COVID-19 age.
Australian biotech company Circa Group’s FC5 commercial demonstration plant is now online, paving the way to a regular supply of Circa’s bio-based solvent CyreneⓇ. A joint venture between Circa and Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skog, the FC5 plant is located in Tasmania, Australia. Now successfully commissioned and operated end-to-end, FC5 is starting to produce a steady stream of 99% pure CyreneⓇ, a non-toxic solvent made from certified and renewable cellulose waste.
Last December Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, was nominated by our readers the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. In this long interview with Il Bioeconomista, he talks about this recognition, what is innovation, the bioeconomy and the next steps of his company.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
First of all, congratulations for the recognition as The Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. What is innovation in the bioeconomy, from your point of view?
Thank you – it was certainly a surprise to be nominated, and the result is very much a confirmation of Circa’s approach and the efforts of the team over the past 9 plus years – staff, shareholders, researchers and partners!
Our readers have voted: the most innovative bioeconomy CEO 2017 is Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, the Australian company headquartered in Melbourne that is converting waste biomass into advanced biochemical materials. For the second consecutive year is the CEO of an Australian company to win the award (in 2016 was Ken Richards, CEO of Leaf Resources).
“By taking the time to scale up efficiently and deliberately, our position in the bioeconomy is growing. Circa remains focused on creating non-toxic, high-performance chemicals from cellulose, using our FuracellTM technology. We are targeting a market of over 900,000 tonnes per annum, growing at 4%. While we do not want to compete in the inevitable price war currently unfolding, as companies vie to be ‘last man standing’ to extract some cash out of legacy plants producing these toxic products, we do see plenty of opportunity to sensibly scale into the market over the next 5-10 years”. To say this – in this long, exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, an Australian innovative company which is converting biomass into advanced biochemical materials.