After 25 years as Managing Director of Biocatalysts Ltd, Stuart West steps down and takes up a role as Non-Executive Director. Stuart’s drive and commitment to the business has seen the company grow into a world-renowned specialty enzyme solution provider. Rod Sears-Black has now taken up the position of Managing Director.
Stuart has guided Biocatalysts through many significant changes, including the move to a purpose-built manufacturing facility in 2004, the establishment of US subsidiary Biocatalysts Inc. in 2011 and the opening of a new intracellular enzyme production plant in 2013. As the business continued to evolve, so did the technology with the introduction of many advanced technologies. This includes the launch of MetXtra in 2017, a software platform for the rational and rapid identification of completely novel enzymes from large metagenomic DNA sequence libraries. His legacy continues with the building of an extension to the factory during 2018, giving Biocatalysts the ability to continue its growth and expansion into new markets.
As of January 2019, Rod Sears-Black takes over as Managing Director at Biocatalysts and he brings with him almost 40 years’ experience within the food industry. Rod commented, “It’s an exciting time to be joining Biocatalysts, our vision for the future is fundamentally a continuation down the path identified by Stuart and I look forward to the challenges I will face taking over a company in great condition with fantastic growth opportunities.”
In the summer of 2018, Biocatalysts celebrated its 35th year by investing in a 11,000 sq ft extension to the existing building in Nantgarw, South Wales. This £6.5M project continues during 2019 with the installation of new fermentation equipment, which Rod will oversee.
When complete, in the middle of 2019, this new facility will increase Biocatalysts’ fermentation capacity more than 10 fold and establish the company as a manufacturer on a larger commercial scale entirely. Alongside this very important expansion, the company will be investing in their existing blending facilities, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of manufacturers in this field.
Rod believes the future of Biocatalysts is bright, “We know that if we deliver on our plans for growth, the business will be twice its current size in 5 years’ time. It won’t only be investment in equipment that we need but also people. We will need some new faces around, but we will also continue to develop internally. The recent introduction of our middle management tier reflects the way the business is growing and reinforces our commitment to development and training.
“The acquisition of Biocatalysts by BRAIN Group during 2018 has opened further opportunities providing access to complementary tools and expertise. Rod commented, “Unlocking this future relationship will be key to the future prosperity of the group. By improving our process performance as well as delivering joint business proposals with BRAIN we will improve our customer offering. Its only by succeeding in all these areas that we can deliver our vision going forwards.”