Svenska Aerogel has left the start-up phase and is now a producing company with an internationally acclaimed product – Quartzene. The buildup of Master Pilot Plant enters the final stage and capacity increases significantly to meet the expected demand from the market. To drive this, the company has been strengthened with several key employees in 2018. In November, Tor Einar Norbakk took over the responsibility as CEO. The assignment – to lead the company further towards an industrial process industry and an internationalization.
48-year-old Tor Einar Norbakk has extensive experience from business and development of manufacturing processes at international level. He has held various positions at Sandvik where he has been active since 2001. Latest appointment as Managing Director and Territory Manager for Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology in Sweden and Denmark.
What attracted you to Svenska Aerogel?
Everyone has an entrepreneur inside and Svenska Aerogel holds a fantastic innovation. For me, it is a great opportunity and a challenge to be a part of this. I will get use of all my skills and experiences from the manufacturing industry. Svenska Aerogel has the entire value chain in the company, although in a smaller format. All parts are in place and needs be developed at the right pace.
Where do you have your strengths as a leader and what will you contribute with?
Working with people is my driving force! The overall view is necessary and my role is to make optimal use of all resources and assets to achieve results. I set goals and deliver on the expectations in time.
It is a great opportunity for us to contribute to future products meeting sustainability requirements.
What challenges can you see?
Balancing capacity against market demands. We need to keep the right pace throughout the development in order to meet increasing customer demands. There is also a great challenge in prioritizing in the stream of possible applications we are facing. Today we have a clear focus.
It is important to choose applications where we can see the possibility of a quick market introduction. The best for us and our customers.
Many ongoing customer tests at different stages and now you are starting to see commercialized products. A repeat order was recently communicated – Quartzene for insulating plaster. What does that order mean for Svenska Aerogel?
An interesting and environmentally beneficial product that has reached the market. It has great potential to be used in larger contexts as it supports the EU ambition regarding energy savings in new and existing buildings. Insulating plaster is an innovative method for lowering energy consumption and it is aligned with Svenska Aerogel’s environmentally friendly intentions.
What opportunities do you see for Svenska Aerogel in the future?
There are huge opportunities with our product Quartzene – and we have just scratched the surface!
The effects that Quartzene add to the end products are often interactions of desirable properties such as better performance, less material consumption and energy savings. The result is reduced environmental impact.
Svenska Aerogel is strong in R&D with high competent researchers working with our long-term projects. We have established several international collaborations with selected market partners and institutes. The outcome of these research projects will become a significant part of our portfolio over time.
The possibilities with our unique manufacturing process are also exciting. It is completely modular, which creates great flexibility in production and logistics. The production can be adapted to our customers’ needs in our own Master Pilot Plant. Alternatively, through tailormade modules at customer facilities or in customer dense areas across the world. Possibilities that contributes to further streamline and reduce transport costs and other environmental impact.
We can contribute to future products meeting the requirements for sustainability. That keeps me focused and creates energy in our team