The NIA is happy to announce the launch of our Member Spotlight series, where we interview a different member every month to learn more about their activities in the world of nano. 

For our first instalment we sat down with Mikel Martínez, CEO of Burdinola Safer Labs


Burdinola is global expert in safety and energy efficiency labs, and very well known as a laboratory leader with more than 6000 projects executed. Mikel, which are the key points to Burdinola’s success? 

Good strategy, the best people, and being honest with our customers (we do not make offers on projects that we do not think we are the best option). We are a company with specialised manufacturing capability in safety and energy efficiency, with a very high level of technical knowledge and team engagement. We are a cooperative where workers are also co-owners of the company, which engages and rewards staff for the long term. We are very proud of our mission statement, approved by the entire organisation: “We create the safest and most efficient laboratories in the world where researchers enjoy working towards a better society”. 


Are you a full lab provider? 

Yes, we are able to provide everything to laboratories infrastructures: we offer more than 40 types of standard fume cupboards, several extraction safety devices, and a wide range of lab furniture and services. We provide full service, installation and key-in-hand projects. We invest in our human resources accountability to become expert partners to our customers. 


In what countries can customers demand your services?  

We are a worldwide company. Our aim is to have delegations in those regions where we are leaders or able to become leaders. 


To which sectors do you add value? 

The pharma sector is our priority customer. We also provide labs to the chemical sector and others industries, as well as research centres and universities. We supply companies like Bayer, GSK, Sanofi, Novartis, Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim and B. Braun, but also BP, Repsol, Total, Solvay, Henkel, Michelin, L’Oréal, Lilly, Nestlé, Danone etc. 


How has Burdinola faced the COVID-19 challenges? 

We have always been a very innovative and sustainability-responsible company. So we have been taking the pandemic crisis as a new opportunity to give more value to our projects, products and processes. Certainly our strong financial situation allows us to invest in the medium- and long-term, and to properly drive our innovation strategy. 


Which are recent Burdinola innovations to find out what is driving the safe use of nanomaterials within a laboratory setting? 

We have recently launched our Nano Chamber, which is a solution that guarantees 100% safety to users in all nano applications, and at the same time delivers stable conditions to samples, thus maintaining their properties; it is also multi-function as it includes the weighing table function with up to 6-digit precision.


Sounds more than interesting! Could you explain a bit further? 

The Nano Chamber has two main benefits: a 100% containment efficiency even against external adverse effects, which is a world first, and no release of nanomaterials. On the nano samples stability, the advantage of this technology is that it does not alter their physical properties – I think our technicians would be able explain it with many more technical details! So there is a direct, positive impact on the health and quality of life of lab users and their experimental results, which is aligned with our mission as a company. 


Where do you see the strongest uptake, and what goals have you set yourselves 

Because it has the strictest safety standards, the pharma sector can greatly benefit from the Nano Chamber, as well as of course research centres and university researchers. In terms of outreach, we intend to cover the entire world market with this solution. We forecast to sell 100 units in the first year, but we haven’t set any targets for the following ones. We will develop our distribution strategy in order to try and sell as many units as possible around the world: we have a unique product that satisfies needs that in this moment are not covered. 


That’s why you joined NIA… 

Yes, we want to contribute to nano safety responding to the sector needs. We are investing a lot in this product range, and we are very excited to have joined NIA: we are very proud of sharing objectives with companies like Solvay, BASF, 3M, Covance etc. 


Thank you very much for speaking with us! One final, non-nano question: after the COVID delay, the Euro 2020 is finally coming up this summer. How do you rate Spain’s chances? 

At this moment it is a team under construction, but playing beautiful football and with a manager with clear ideas… but in my opinion it is not the favourite. Anyway, I am always happy when the best team wins!