Scale-up stories Generation-E

In conversation with Raymond Bosch about Gashouders, SolarDuck and Alucha


Generation-E works differently to most of Orion's partners. The Arnhem-based company focuses on promising energy scale-ups rather than start-ups. Yet the link with Orion is very important to Generation-E. After Orion has ensured the growth of start-ups, Generation-E provides support in scaling up to a mature company. Each year 200 companies are scouted by Generation-E for the guidance process. Five scale-ups were selected from these scouts last year. Project Manager Raymond Bosch talks about the collaboration with three of these scale-ups.

Gash holders of Pieter Mans, Jan Willem Eising and Jelmer Kalff

The term gasholder is an old name for a gas storage facility. Pieter, Jan Willem and Jelmer have breathed new life into this concept by storing biogas in tanks. This sounds quite simple, but it is revolutionary. Gasholders is the first in the world to do this.


The product of Gashouders is very interesting and circular.
Biogas is a closed loop that you can use constantly, unlike the use of fossil fuels.' Raymond Bosch


Biogas is produced from decaying processes in, for example, manure tanks, sewage or dredging systems. Here, biogas is stored for a short time and converted into electrical energy as quickly as possible. In many cases, it is not possible to make effective use of this clean energy. This is because these storage locations are often far away from villages and towns, while precisely there is the greatest demand for energy. Gashouders has come up with a solution for this: a filling station that makes it possible to store biogas in tanks. This way, biogas can be used in many more places. Think of aggregates in construction that run on biogas instead of diesel.


Gashouders was on the list of 200 potential scale-ups at the beginning of 2020, on the recommendation of Orion partner Kiemt. However, the company was not yet ready for the scale-up programme, so they were referred to Orion for the start-up loan. Thanks to this loan, they made great strides, making them ready for our scale-up programme three quarters of a year later.


Government policy is very important for the development of Gashouders. When building government buildings or roads, you have to comply with a strict inspection in the field of energy neutrality, nitrogen and fine dust. Then it is more advantageous to invest in biogas, because then you can use sustainable energy at the same price as diesel.


Generation-E helped Gashouders to map out the company. Based on this knowledge Generation-E was able to provide suitable professionals for support in areas such as legal affairs and marketing.


Kijk voor meer informatie op de website van Gashouders.

SolarDuck by Koen Burgers, Olaf de Swart, Don Hoogendoorn

inland water solution, the SolarDuck system is geared towards offshore conditions



Everyone is familiar with the ugly meadows filled with solar panels. But at sea, these fields are hardly visible. SolarDuck has developed a floating construction for solar panels that is highly resistant to waves, wind and currents. These constructions can be connected to each other so that large parks can be developed. They can provide energy to coastal cities worldwide, while lying out of sight in the water a kilometre from the coast.


The SolarDuck team came up with this idea after years of gaining experience at their former employer Damen Shipyards, among others. It became a process in which the system often had to be tested. For example, the solar collectors are very sensitive to repeated loads and must be mounted in such a way that the panel remains rigid while the substructure has the flexibility to compensate for wave motion. This is complex, but Solarduck has patented a solution that makes floating solar fields at sea possible worldwide.


Generation-E scanned the company in all crucial business areas. Based on the results, it was possible to determine which components were in order and which needed to be tightened up. Based on the scan, Generation-E's knowledge partners and the entrepreneurs behind SolarDuck assembled a team of lawyers, market analysts, manufacturers, financing experts, marketing advisors and business strategists who work together to scale up SolarDuck. Generation-E applies this approach to all scale-ups in the programme.


We were able to help SolarDuck perfectly with, among other things, the patent application for their floating technology. Not only can we point out areas for improvement within our programme, we also have the budget and expertise on board to actually help them apply for that patent. This has really helped the company and increased its value after completion of our programme! Raymond Bosch


SolarDuck will unveil its first demo in April. In the coming year, tests will be carried out and a second demo will be installed at sea. The intention is then to deliver the first projects in the Netherlands and beyond. There are risks attached to this. Does the client of a metropolis take a relatively small company, with an innovative product that does not yet have a large-scale track record, seriously? Will they dare to make a million-dollar deal with a young company like SolarDuck? When will you get your first big order? Won't there be too many gaps between orders? With the help of Generation-E, the SolarDuck team has fortunately covered these risks as far as possible.


Kijk voor meer informatie op de website van Solarduck.


Alucha by Gijs Jansen

Lime is a commonly used filler in the production of paper and many other products. Lime gives paper a glossy look or is used as a filler in plastics, paint, coatings, but also in carpets, for example. In the paper recycling process, the used lime mineral is also found between the paper fibres, printing ink and so on. During the paper recycling process, paper is dissolved in water (it is then called paper pulp) in an attempt to separate the various components and recover the valuable, reusable paper fibres. The fibres that the paper mill can no longer use, because they are of too low a quality, and the fillers end up as a waste stream in their water treatment plants: paper sludge.
Alucha has developed a process that separates the lime from this paper sludge in a very pure and clean way. The recovered lime is of such quality that it is again suitable for use in new products.


At paper mills worldwide, Alucha can install its machines to recover these fillers. They can then market their recycled lime, or also called Circular Calcium Carbonate, CCC, as a circular filler for the plastics and paint industries, for example.


The nice thing about lime is that you can always use it. It never gets saturated and is very common on earth. However, it is currently a completely linear industry, and Alucha wants to change that with circular lime. A lesser characteristic of lime is its price. It is cheaper to import lime newly extracted from the earth than to recycle it from the paper sludge in the factory. You need big companies willing to invest in Alucha's product. Companies that are prepared to make an extra investment in sustainable circular lime. Actually, the government should become more involved in the price of raw materials that lend themselves well to recovery from residual flows. In this way, Alucha and others can find a market for their product, which is so much better in the long run for the preservation of nature and a raw material system that remains in balance.


Fortunately, Alucha is not just dependent on the paper industry for the sale of recovered lime. Lime is used as a filler in many industries, for example in car bumpers. Alucha is now in contact with a car manufacturer to see how they can use recycled lime in the production of circular plastic bumpers. Raymond Bosch


Generation-E has supported Alucha in various ways. They too went through the scan to see where the company could make improvements. For example, Generation-E found that the Alucha team was not yet balanced. Generation-E's knowledge partners involved made a profile for a vacancy based on the skills needed for the company's next phase. Because if you want to be ready to scale up, you have to have the right people in the right place!


Kijk voor meer informatie op de website van Alucha.