Market research intern gains commercial experience at Catexel

After completing a six month chemistry internship based in our Leiden office in the Netherlands performing market research, Jorn Steen shares his experience on his time at Catexel.

After completing my Masters in Chemistry at University of Groningen, specialising in catalysis and green chemistry, I was keen to get some practical industry experience. As a fast-growing, company leading the way in using chemistry to revolutionise multiple industries, Catexel’s chemistry internship offered the perfect opportunity.

As part of a collaboration with the University of Girona, I worked on an EU funded market research project to assess the applicability of novel iron/manganese based catalysts for specific oxidations and copper-based catalysts for C-C and C-X coupling reactions of organic compounds. Catexel had been approached by the University to collaborate on the project following the company’s proven track record in technology commercialisation and my job was to help undertake the analysis of the market landscape where these reactions could be of commercial interest.

My chemistry internship at Catexel was characterised by a friendly atmosphere and hard-working team, which made working at the Leiden office an enjoyable and interesting experience. Working closely with the technical team and Liz Manning, Business Development Manager at Catexel, I was able to put my studies and knowledge into practical use.

I have learned a great deal about the innovative chemistry that is being done here and the multiple projects that are running at the same time, for industries including coatings and textiles. I really admire the overall drive that the Catexel team have in working to find cleaner, faster, safer ways of working in heavy industries. It is a company that really puts sustainability at the heart of its values and work.

During the project, I also came to understand the chemical industry in a broader and more commercial sense; how many regulatory, market  and environmental factors are in play at the same time, the number of different stakeholders involved who are working together to keep the industry afloat, and the importance of good personal relationships between staff at different companies that do business together. It was incredibly useful to see research in a commercial context, and how scientific research can be monetised and brought to market.

Having only had experience in the academic world, this has been a really valuable experience, giving me insight into the commercial side of chemistry. I also gained useful skills in research and a comprehensive understanding of patents, performing comparative analysis, and what it’s like to work in a fast moving company working towards a more sustainable future.

I really enjoyed my chemistry internship at Catexel and I am looking forward to seeing the results of the project.

Jorn Steen, Market Research Intern at Catexel