Welcome to our new science leader

Florian Graichen Dr Florian Graichen brings his extensive background in developing renewable and sustainable ‘green’ resources to Scion, in his position as the new Biopolymers and Green Chemicals Science Leader.

Florian has joined us from the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Belgium where he was Business Development Manager. The majority of his work as commercial manager, and as senior scientist and project leader at CSIRO prior to that, focused on replacing crude oil based raw materials with renewable and sustainable alternatives, combined with the development of speciality polymers and materials.

“One of my biggest achievement to date,” says Florian, “is the establishment of ‘Biorizon’, a multinational shared research centre with a focus on technology development for the production of biobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals and coatings. In anticipation of a growing shortage of aromatics from the petrochemical industry, the aim of Biorizon is to deliver bioderived materials as building blocks for the chemical industry.

“Establishing these multi-party, multi-disciplinary projects has led to a rapidly expanding global network in the chemical and polymer areas and also in sectors that will benefit from the materials produced”.

After completing his PhD at the University of Regensburg in Germany, Florian spent two years as post-doctoral researcher at the University of Canterbury from 2003, where he met his New Zealand wife, Kelly Anderson. Together with their two-year-old son Max, they are now looking forward to being back in New Zealand and enjoying the wonderful outdoor lifestyle Rotorua has to offer.