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11 June, 2022 - 16:31 By Tony Quested

Xampla unveils top hires in scale-up strategy

Cambridge-based Xampla, which is creating natural alternatives to single-use plastic, has unveiled two top hires as part of its ongoing scale-up strategy. Sabina Burmester has been named as head of Engineering and Scott Thompson head of R & D. 

They join seven other new hires who have started at Xampla since January, with the team growing by 95 per cent over the last year alone. 

Burmester brings nearly 30 years of experience working on the development and manufacturing of innovative materials for commercial goods and has led teams in various industries, including FMCG.

She joins from Johnson Matthey, Clean Air. Working as Senior Chemical Engineer Innovation specialist, she collaborated with experts to deliver a global project for the Clean Air Sector and is the co-inventor of multiple patent applications for innovative processes and equipment. 

The main areas include novel processes and equipment to improve product microstructure and improve ingredient functionality; process efficiency; and creating novel product architectures. Thompson was previously head of supercapacitor development at Superdielectrics, a technology startup, where he worked closely with the CEO to lead the research and development of novel technology. Prior to this, he led a team developing new thermosetting polymer formations at Hexcel Composites.

In his new role he will work closely with Marc Rodriguez Garcia, CTO of Xampla, and the team of scientists to develop further applications for its pioneering natural alternative to plastic made from plant proteins.

Burmester and Thompson’s appointments follow the addition last year of Katrina Curl as head of marketing and communications. Curl brings more than a decade’s creative and communications experience from the UK’s top agencies, working with household names in FMCG and tech including Unilever, Britvic and Canon.

Xampla is also preparing itself for a growing order book with the launch of a new laboratory in January, which is helping the team maximise productivity and accelerate the research and development of new plastic-alternative technologies.

Following 15 years of research at The University of Cambridge, the certified B-Corp company has created a natural and biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic.

Xampla’s plant-protein technology has applications in flexible films, microcapsules and coatings and has already launched to market in partnership with global brands, including Britvic and Gousto.

CEO Simon Hombersley  said: “Xampla has continued to grow from strength to strength. We are truly excited to welcome Sabina and Scott, who bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to add to the wide range of expertise within the company.

“As we continue to work with leading global brands to bring our technology to supermarket shelves, having the very best talent in the industry is key to our continued success. 

“With our full management team in place, Xampla’s people are all united by the same commitment to turn the tide on plastic pollution. We know Sabina and Scott will play a central part in that mission.”

Burmester, said: “Xampla is a dynamic and effective team which collaborates with global experts in specialised scientific and technological fields to develop truly ground-breaking new products and processes. 

“I am looking forward to exploring even more potential applications for this natural alternative to single-use plastic, and to working with the team to scale-up from lab tests to manufacturing.”

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