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UvA spin-off company SusPhos, based at the WaterCampus in Leeuwarden, was voted last week as Frisian Startup of the Year 2021. This young company focuses on upcycling phosphate-rich waste streams into valuable products such as fertilizer and flame retardants. The seed of one of these techniques was sown at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, in research by Dr Chris Slootweg, Dr Marissa de Boer and ing. Bas de Jong.

Picture of award ceremony
Founder and CEO of SusPhos Marissa de Boer (left) was handed the title by Jorrit Volkers, chairman of the Foundation Election Frisian Company of the Year (centre). Next to him Bart Riesebos, chemical technologist at SusPhos (right). Photo: Foundation Election Frisian Company of the Year.

The election for Frisian startups takes place annually. Three companies are nominated by a jury to contend for the award based on potential, ambition, and innovative strength. On September 7, SusPhos competed with fellow nominees Solid (electric scooters and mopeds) and Elzinga & Van der Krieke (innovative plastics processing).

After a first round of pitches, the large audience chose SusPhos as the winner. Chairman Jorrit Volkers then handed over the title to SusPhos CEO Marissa de Boer. She called it "super special" to be on the podium. "In two and a half years we have grown from a start-up to a company with 15 employees and a running pilot plant. We have been chosen by so many people as the winner of this honourable recognition - that is just bizarre, and a wonderful affirmation," said De Boer. SusPhos hopes to have made the step to a commercial plant within two years.