Working for Renotech, Motolani Sakeye can combine his two passions: research and the environment. For Sakeye, Turku is the best place in the world to balance work and family.

Motolani Sakeye, you work for a Finnish cleantech company called Renotech. Why is it your dream job?

I have always had a passion for the environment and its preservation. My work offers the opportunity to use natural resources in a sustainable way. In Renotech I am able to use my skills, knowledge and background in surface chemistry for making new products out of waste materials.

You work as a Product Development Engineer. Who are your customers?

They can be for instance chemical supply companies, manufacturing companies or building contractors. We try to make them see how they can make their processes sustainable, with more affordable raw materials.

You moved to Finland from Nigeria in 2007. Why did you decide to come here?

After my bachelor’s degree in Nigeria, I wanted to have an international validation of my knowledge. Finland appealed to me with its free tuition policy at that time. I came to Turku to study a Master’s programme in Chemical Engineering in Åbo Akademi University. Then I continued to do a PhD in the same subject, specialising in Physical Chemistry.

Motolani Sakeye was initially hired on the basis of his independent projects

You heard about Renotech and its CEO Bob Talling from a friend. How did you end up working for them?

I contacted Bob and pitched my skills, training, and abilities to him. He gave me a couple of independent projects, which I carried out successfully and was then employed.

What do you think about the working atmosphere at Renotech?

It is teamwork, which I really love. We come from various backgrounds, and we have found and solved many big problems creatively together. The CEO Bob is quite knowledgeable about the processes. He is there with you on the factory floor and shares his ideas, which is exciting.

Sakeye credits the team’s creativity at Renotech to it its members’ diverse backgrounds

What do you see in Renotech’s future?

I would like to see the ideas we are developing here in Renotech, used in other parts of the world, especially in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries. We could help them with waste management, reuse of waste products and other environmental challenges they are facing.

You live in Turku with your wife and a two-year-old daughter, and you are expecting another baby soon. How is the family life in Finland?

Extremely rewarding. Turku is such a peaceful and serene area to race a family. My working hours are flexible, and I can plan my work life to fit with my family life. It makes the working atmosphere relaxed and much more productive.

Why would you recommend Southwest Finland to cleantech professionals?

The advantage is that there is a pool of cleantech companies, wherein ideas, resources and experiences are shared. In this region you can balance your work and family life, as well as get to use state of the art facilities for your research. You also have some high-level professionals to work with.

Bob Telling in front of a shelf of documents
Bob Talling is the CEO of Renotech and initially hired Sakeye

CEO Bob Talling, why is it important to hire international talents?

It is good to bring in different ways of thinking and of doing things. The other reason is that we would like to have people who can export some business maybe to India or to Africa when the time comes. It is always much faster, if you have an inside person, who already has a network there.

What is Renotech’s mission in the circular economy?

To get companies to work together for circular solutions. We would also like to reduce import to Europe. China is a big supplier of raw materials for the industry in Europe. We want to build up an industry, which can supply Europe with sustainable raw materials.

Renotech is one of the founders of Smart Chemistry Park. What is it all about?

It is a platform for small and medium-sized cleantech and circular economy companies in this region. The idea is to bring them together and share ideas, facilities, and equipment so that we can make more complex analysis and piloting than we could do alone.

How do you see the potential of circular economy in Southwest Finland?

There is a huge potential because we have millions of tons of waste just lying there waiting for recovery and use. Now there is also a push from the government to start using circular materials. Logistics for the materials is still missing in Finland. It is under development and the future looks strong.

Click on the video below to watch as Motolani describes his experiences in Turku and at Renotech:

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