SYNCRAFT - resource-saving and sustainable energy generation

In 2007, Marcel Huber, a former student and employee of the MCI, and his team of process engineers succeeded in developing the floating fixed-bed gasifier, a revolutionary process for generating electricity and heat from biomass. This laid the foundation stone for SYNCRAFT Engineering GmbH, the wood-fired power plant from Tyrol, which has set itself the goal of resource-saving and sustainable energy generation. The MCI partner company was able to commission as many plants in 2020 as in the first ten years together, for example in Japan.

The fossil age is ending and bioenergy is increasingly becoming the focus of future-oriented companies. SYNCRAFT distinguishes itself above all through the following strengths:

  • Clean energy: Wood is a regional, renewable resource. It is converted into clean energy in SYNCRAFT's power plants, free of fine dust and residues.
  • Zero emissions: SYNCRAFT's wood-fired power plants are not only emission-free, they even bind emissions. This is called negative emission technology.
  • Charcoal: next to electricity and heat, charcoal is a third valuable product of SYNCRAFT's wood power plants. The areas of application range from barbecue coal and animal feed supplements to the storage of fertiliser substances, which can sustainably reduce the use of fertiliser.

We met Marcel and asked him the following three questions:

What made you decide to begin your own start-up & would you do it again?

I developed my own new technology, which was the main reason for founding the company. I wanted to watch my invention grow, just like raising children - you cannot avoid responsibility here (laughs). I would also like to mention that this would not have been possible without my team - there are three of us. It takes roles and responsibilities and you have to fit together. The invention alone is not enough, it is the motivation to want to implement something together, and here we have complemented each other.

However, I have to be honest, if I had known how difficult this would have been; I would not have dared to take this step at that time. I think that is how many people in the start-up scene feel. If you knew what would be facing you, no one would ever found a company. You have to be tough and you must endure. Nevertheless, from the current point of view, I would do it over and again. That is why I am also committed to increasing support for start-ups. Unfortunately, the framework conditions for this have not yet been sufficiently established in Tyrol, and we must work together on it to change this.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was to accept that the stringing together of defeats and getting up again is nothing special - it is part of the game. You do not have to get up just once, but each time. This business takes no prisoners. At the beginning, I thought that it all happens only to me, but slowly you start to understand the rules of the game and learn from your mistakes - and that has nothing to do with start-ups, but with entrepreneurship in general. The faster, the better, and the bigger you get, the more setbacks you have to cope with, and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about.

What do you think is the most important characteristic of a successful entrepreneur?  

Mental strength paired with a certain communication talent and, in my case perhaps, the ability to look at things from several perspectives. Moreover, self-reflection and flexibility are very important in my opinion.