Friday, June 29, 2012

Wolfson on supporting innovation

From within an interview by the San Jose Mercury News with Jonathan Wolfson of Solazyme:

Q In response to critics who call the Navy contract too expensive, you've said the cost of your fuel eventually will drop as you ramp up new production facilities. Any other thoughts on that subject?

A I'm worried that we're losing sight of one of the things that has really helped America become the global center of the business universe and that is that this country is better at supporting innovation than anywhere else in the world. The discussion of whether or not someone is paying above-market price for early deliveries of an advanced biofuel that replaces petroleum to me is really odd.

Of diverging from a "solely fuels" approach:

Initially we started the company purely for fuel. But after not very long, we realized oils are used much more broadly than for fuel. We also started to think about how you can keep a company financially healthy to get to the point where you can make fuels. Because to get the fuels, you need to get to the lowest cost of production -- you need to get into big facilities, which costs a significant amount of capital. So it was very logical for us to say we're going to leverage our technology into cosmetics and nutrition as we come down that cost curve for fuels.


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