Growth inspired by the right people

Nanol Technologies that manufactures an additive for lubricants is aiming for the international market with a new 1,5 million euros funding and a new managing director.

The startup company Nanol Technologies manufactures an additive that reduces friction and wear for lubricants used in various mechanical equipment. According to studies, nearly a quarter of an engine’s fuel consumption is spent on overcoming friction.

“Nanol forms a nano-thin copper film onto the steel surface and only grabs onto the spots where friction and wear occur. With the developed technology, the product can be tailored for many different applications,” says the manager of the company’s operations in Raisio, Sophia von Haartman.

The right people helped with the start of the business

Nanol got its start when the founder of the company, Johan von Knorring, stumbled upon an idea of an additive that was not yet on the market. The product is based on extensive development work that brought the company to Turku. “When founding the company, the right people and expertise were in a key role. We cooperated closely with another company during their early stages and shared knowledge and expertise with each other,” says von Knorring.

The product technology has been developed together with the German Fraunhofer Society, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki, as well as various research organisations in Turku. The company’s own stock of expertise also comes from the local institutes of higher education.

The team Nanol includes several advisors around the world. In the picture from left: Johan von Knorring, Samuli Lempiäinen, Jerker Gräsbeck, Julius Kirkkola, Sophia von Haartman and Mikael Lindholm.

Diverse expertise and an extensive cooperation network are the strengths of the company. In addition to their own staff, the company has many experts from various application areas around the world that take part in local projects and bring new sales leads.

The objectives are growth and international expansion of sales

The company’s new managing director, Jerker Gräsbeck, sees that the additive has several potential new market areas, but the current focus is mainly on applications where the additive is the most useful.

“Everyone aims at minimising fuel consumption, not only because of cost savings, but also for environmental reasons. Our largest customer group are ship companies. Drawing up a contract takes time, because the companies want to test the additive on a ship first, and the larger contract is only drawn up, when there is proof of savings based on the accumulated nautical miles,” says Gräsbeck.

During this spring, the company’s productions are moved to Smart Chemistry Park in Raisio, which enables a raise in production capacity. The range of products will also be renewed and expanded.

“Our direction is steered by biofuels and lighter low-sulphur oils that we will react to with new products. For example, we are interested in several South American projects on gas power plants,” says Gräsbeck.

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Text, Annika Myrsky

Picture, Nanol Technologies