Scale, the start-up, sets up at Arkinova
Scale is a young and innovative start-up which is developing a material made from fish scales. The company has recently set up its premises at the Arkinova Business Generator where it is seeking applications for the new material.
Erik De Laurens and Edouard De Dreuzy founded Scale in March 2018 to develop Scalite: contraction of the word “scale” and the suffix “lite” from lithos (stone in Greek). Scalite is a material made from fish scales recovered from fishmongers and the fishing industry. “Sardine scales are not used for anything else; they are easy to recover and the quantity available is sufficient for large-scale production”.
“In France, we have some 500 tonnes of sardine scales available and in the rest of Europe and Morocco there is a total amount of 25,000 tonnes. Europe also has 20,000 tonnes of salmon scales available. Worldwide, there is a one million-tonne reserve from mixed species. We cannot replace plastic, but this is a sustainable solution,” said Erik De Laurens, a qualified designer, a specialist in architectural materials, and the instigator of the project.
A search for applications
Edouard De Dreuzy is a digital marketing consultant. He is developing the concept for a 100% biodegradable, substitution material. “A subcontractor receives the scales and transforms them into powder. We then convert it into plates using our own process. We are going to sell these plates and perhaps commercialise finished products at a later date”, explained Mr De Laurens.
At the beginning of April, the company’s two founders relocated the company to the Arkinova Business Generator, backed by Agglomération Pays Basque and Bpifrance through a French Tech grant. Jules Colin, a plastics processing engineer, joined the team to work on characterisation of the material and to study the industrial manufacturing process.
Research into suitable applications and a market study are currently underway. A number of industrial corporations are already interested in this entirely organic, biodegradable, recyclable and compostable material, which contains no chemical additives.