4 Minutes With…Bill Radany, CEO, Verdezyne

September 16, 2014 |

radanyIf you’ve seen Bill Randany’s face lately, it’s probably in a photo opp recently in Malaysia with the Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak and US President Barack Obama — at the time the company was announcing an investment of $48 million led by Malaysian multinational conglomerate, Sime Darby Berhad that included BP Alternative Energy Ventures, DSM Venturing, OVP Venture Partners, and Monitor Ventures. The company reached a valuation of $100 million in the private round.

But, generally, Bill shies from the limelight — in fact, he ducked most of the personal questions in the following 4-Minutes with that you’re about to read. “I’m not the story,” he’ll tell you, and put the focus back on Verdezyne. But Verdezyne happens to be the nearest neighbor of the Digest’s West Coast base, so we can reveal that he’s into adventure of the outdoors kind, is a rugby fan — and among bio-lovin’ musicians he’s more into Jack Johnson than Willie Nelson.

We think he would approve of this quote from a book he likes — as do we in Digestville, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: “In chronicling a journey from Minneapolis to San Francisco that passed through Missoula, Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, had this to say about the nature of journeys: “You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”

Tell us about your organization and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Using engineered organisms in fermentation, we produce alternatives to petrochemicals using vegetable oil co-products as feedstocks. Our products are used for nylon polymers, lubricant additives and fragrances.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

Our primary focus over the next year is the engineering work and construction of our first plant to produce dodecanedioic acid, which will be located in Malaysia. At the same time we will continue to enhance our technology and advance other programs in our R&D pipeline.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?

As an industry, we must prove to the world that we can take technologies from lab to commercial scale with no surprises in construction or process economics. We must show that “renewable” and “bio-based” aren’t buzzwords that describe a social phenomenon but a better way to make chemicals that compete with the petchem industry on cost and quality

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?

I would improve the availability of capital to early-stage companies and create consistent, predictable environmental policies and government incentives for producers and customers of renewable products. I would keep the daily newsletter, but have it feature Verdezyne more often, especially when we are recruiting employees.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?

I am still optimistic that the tool used in biotechnology can revolutionize our industry in the same way they did in healthcare.

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Category: Million Minds

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