Organic Chemical Engineering
Biomass Waste as a Renewable Resource
With a masters in biochemical engineering and biology from the University of Nantes in France, Eric Desnoes moved to Quebec in 2017 to pursue his PhD in energy and materials science at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. His entrepreneurship journey began when he met his current business partner Pierre-Olivier Lemire who shared the same interest in re-purposing bio-waste. Together they embarked on a business venture to explore a technology that could potentially alter the agriculture industry. QcSE nurtured his entrepreneurial mindset.
Algomega, the company they founded, is built upon the principle of treating agricultural residues and urban organic waste to be transformed into reusable material. For instance, the waste generated from corn agriculture has the potential to be converted to ethanol repurposed into energy fuel. Another innovative source of transformation is Omega 3. This edible supplement traditionally extracted from fish farming can now be obtained using Algomega’s innovative technology and therefore mitigating the demand for fish agriculture and its distressing effects on the ecosystem.
Eric joined QcSE during the Winter 2021 cohort. He always had a drive for entrepreneurship, however, it was hard to frame it outside of academia. “As a researcher, the path is usually always pre-defined.” Through QcSE and the knowledge he acquired, he was able to structure his ideas and build a business. The program also gave him the opportunity to connect with leaders from the ecosystem and network with participants from similar backgrounds. One of the points he highlighted as a great added value to his experience is having the opportunity to pitch his business idea to professionals well versed in the start-up realm. Their feedback enabled him to pivot his strategy and build upon his communication skills.
His advice to aspiring scientific entrepreneurs: ‘It is very fulfilling to see your research come to fruition. Entrepreneurship can be an option for you too.”