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Anna Stenstam

Q&A with Anna Stenstam, CEO at CR

01 September 2021, 16:23

"We need to be the best in class in order to stay relevant to our clients. The only way to stay at the scientific frontier is to continue to do risky borderline academic studies."

Tell us more about CR

CR is a scientific service provider. We do our very best to provide our clients with “scientific savvy business direction”, i.e. understanding of products, ingredients, and processes that are valuable fundaments for decisions they need to make: them being formulators, process engineers, or IP managers for example. For many, we are a strategic partner in the field of our expertise which is colloidal chemistry with the techniques related to the area. Thus, what our work week consists of is a mix of time in the lab studying soft matter systems with surfactants (excipients, polymers, and/or additional actives) and time thinking about what it really is that is going on. We often combine observational studies with more elaborate techniques and then also develop methods needed, our strongholds are NMR, scattering techniques, surface characterization, and HPLC.  Most importantly, we want to deliver with impact so our studies are often reported in the form of presentations and webinars, so several clients have us contribute to their recurrent curriculum.

Why did you become involved in the NextBioForm-project?

We need to be the best in class in order to stay relevant to our clients. The only way to stay at the scientific frontier is to continue to do risky borderline academic studies. This is hard to get clients to pay for, and no one at CR has part-time work at a university. Thus, we identified NextBioForm as a way to keep developing ourselves and of course our network. In addition, NextBioForm focuses on an area that we find very interesting and that in itself expands naturally and in a smart way from our experience of polymer-surfactant systems and their structure-performance relations.

What do you hope to gain from NextBioForm in the coming years?

I hope that we can bridge better from general colloidal understanding and techniques to the more specific biological systems: that the understanding that exists in one field is utilized in another at the same time as the specific difficulties of the biological system is understood and taken on as a challenge by us who have the old tools. On a more personal level, I hope that CR gets to do a fun study with one of the other partners where we expand our know-how of scattering techniques and surface characterization and learn something completely new.

What is the best thing about NextBioForm?

The fact that there is so much experience together with expertise, deep and specific as well as in general science, while at the same time, everybody are still so easy to connect and open a new dialogue with. CR has not had so many projects within NextBioForm but we always feel welcome and that other partners are interested in what we do and have to say.  I also appreciate the way RISE is coordinating which allows us, an SME with expertise but no time to do what coordination entails, to be part of something where we can both learn and contribute to an important field.