A business development director took his own advice – and started a new company after he had a “light bulb” moment that could revolutionise the way cosmetic creams are made.
Dr Mike Anderson’s flash of inspiration has led him to patent a new way of mixing oil and water – knocking hours off traditional methods.
Dr Anderson had worked in the cosmetic industry for ICI before moving to Tees Valley’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) where he spent time encouraging people with great ideas and helping them to identify the best options for new business development.
While working for CPI, Dr Anderson heard all about “process intensification” which uses new methods to create products more quickly, with less waste and in a more efficient way.
Soon he was wondering if this new technology could be employed to make the type of cosmetics – such as suntan creams and moisturisers – he’d worked with in his previous job.
After taking advice from experts in the field and discussing the possibility of mixing the oils and water needed by using brand new “emulsification technologies”, Dr Anderson realised he was on to a winner.
Convinced his idea would work, he decided to take a gamble and set up his own company Eurofarpoint.
He turned to his employers in their role as mentors and advisors to SMEs looking to develop new processes and asked to work just one day a week concentrate on his new business. Next he found himself working with his own team in a completely new capacity – as they helped him to apply for grant support to explore the feasibility of his idea.
CPI helped Dr Anderson apply to NStar’s “proof of concept fund” – designed especially for people like Dr Anderson who have a bright idea but not the necessary funds to trial and test it.
Equipment was specially designed and made locally – and set up adjacent to CPI at the Wilton Centre on Teesside.
And not only did it work – it worked like a dream – leaving Mike able to make cosmetic products for himself but also able to look at the possibilities of building and licensing similar plant for others.
Dr Anderson explained: ‘Basically the new technology means that for “like for like capacity” a manufacturer now requires 200 times less floor space, one-tenth of the capital outlay and less operators – that’s enormous savings for what is a huge – and growing – global market.
‘The traditional method of making such creams and cosmetics has been to use big heated pots which are stirred continuously for up to 18 hours.
‘My new process is flexible and can be used either as a batch process or a continuous process – the key point is that consistency is guaranteed whether kilogrammes or tonnes are manufactured.’
The patented EMINT (Emulsification Intensification) process produces stable emulsions in a fraction of the time using in-line mixing, heating and emulsification.
Dr Anderson has recently launched his own range of cosmetics -Tamanu Care – which are clinically tested skincare products containing Tamanu oil sourced by Dr Anderson’s partner in America.
The products are available via the website www.tamanucare.com.