When project funding is on the line, Flowrox knows who to call
Securing funding for your company’s key project can be a challenging journey – it may seem, at times, that you need to write the application in some secret code to make it. The challenge is especially daunting, if there is nobody at your company who specializes in this kind of thing and knows the ins and outs of the application process.
Simo Manninen, Vice President of Business Management at Flowrox, knows the “application blues” only too well. While Flowrox specializes in flow control, filtration, environmental technologies and industrial automation solutions, hunting for financing in a jungle of funding instruments is not something that the Lappeenranta-based company does on daily basis.
In 2020, Flowrox learned about funding being available through EIT RawMaterials. Initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of innovation and Technology), EIT RawMaterials is the largest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide.
“The more I read about EIT RawMaterials, the more I thought that this one might offer something for us,” Manninen says.
A Dead End Looming?
Flowrox was well-familiar that CST had some “application wizardry” that they had deployed with considerable success. – Perhaps CST could help us in applying, Manninen thought at the time.
Flowrox approached Samantha Kiljunen, Director of CST, with a rough draft. Kiljunen grabbed the draft and ran with it.
“Samantha basically rewrote the whole thing,” Manninen looks back with a grin. “She knew exactly what to say and what not to say. It was on another level completely.”
And what happened? – After an arduous application process which included also interviews, Flowrox was granted 200,000 EUR for the development of their plasma oxidizer project – an exciting new initiative that has taken Flowrox into the realm of Power Electronics for the first time.
As it turned out, this year Flowrox had another project it had been tinkering with, involving a new kind of de-watering solution. Again, CST was able to step in – and really flip the script.
“Samantha discovered that we could participate in the 5R Refinery Project that could be funded by Business Finland. She did an awesome job putting together the consortium for the project and serving, in effect, as the project coordinator for the application process,” Manninen says, adding that the application itself is yet to be submitted.
“It never would have crossed my mind that we could accomplish something like that, but CST had the vision and they saw it through magnificently.”
According to Manninen, CST clearly went “above and beyond” the call of duty, bringing different pieces together for maximum value.
Manninen acknowledges that not all applications lead to run-away success stories. One such case was a recent competition entry to a content held by multinational mining giant BHP in Chile. BHP’s Tailing Challenge invited participants to develop new technological solutions and new business models for reusing copper tailings.
“We composed our competition entry with CST, but this time, we didn’t make the cut.”
Still, as CST and Flowrox “drafted” expertise from both academic and corporate worlds, the whole competition process was marked by high quality – yet another example of the same “team mentality” that has been so characteristic of all Flowrox/CST joint ventures.
“For us, the cooperation with CST is extremely valuable, effective and very easy to do,” Manninen says. “Each and every time, Samantha’s commitment to the task at hand has been superb.”
According to Manninen, composing those winning funding applications is only part of what CST brings to the table – the organization will leave no stone unturned in search of a solution and has a finely-tuned network that can work wonders in a tight spot.
“CST can support us in so many ways that we consider them to be a strategic partner for us. We have seen, time and time again, that great things happen
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Written by Sami Anteroinen, Dialog Designs Oy