Streamlining R&D and compliance: Measurlabs’ role in empowering Sulapac's growth

Published April 16, 2024

Fanny Törnqvist

Fanny Törnqvist

Growth Lead, Measurlabs

Efficient R&D is at the core of a startup’s journey from the initial idea to product launch and sustained revenue. To make informed decisions on how to proceed with the development of a new material, the company needs reliable and timely insights from laboratory tests. A dedicated laboratory partner is indispensable in streamlining the process, ensuring quality outcomes, and maximizing the return on R&D investments.

Sulapac is a pioneer in developing sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional plastic. The company was founded in 2016 by three scientists on a mission to confront the accumulation of single-use plastics in our daily lives. Shortly after beginning to develop the first Sulapac material, the founders chose Measurlabs as their primary R&D testing partner.

Timely test results and expert support enable effective research

Developing a new material and ensuring its functionality and safety in different use cases requires a wide variety of laboratory tests. To avoid projects getting stuck while waiting for test results, Sulapac needed to get the tests done as quickly as possible. Partnering with Measurlabs proved to be of critical importance at this stage in the process.

“Measurlabs was incredibly valuable for us in our early days. They were always available and responded quickly to any questions or testing needs. We could trust that we would always get our results as quickly as possible and not have to stall our projects for any extra days,” comments Laura Tirkkonen-Rajasalo, Sulapac’s Co-Founder and Chief Compliance Officer.

Another thing hugely beneficial for the young company was the expertise offered by the Measurlabs team. Especially with novel materials, it may not always be straightforward to determine which analyses are necessary or which methods are the most suitable. With expert help and guidance on formulating the testing plan for each new material, Sulapac ended up getting all the tests they needed while not wasting money on unnecessary analyses performed “just in case”.

Ensuring regulatory compliance and material safety from the get-go

Navigating the complex web of regulatory requirements can be a significant hurdle, especially for new companies. Measurlabs’ expertise in EU regulations related to food contact materials and cosmetics packaging proved to be a major asset for Laura and her team.

“We did not know all the details of the regulations at the time, so the help we got from Measurlabs’ testing experts was truly indispensable. They made the whole process very smooth and we always got all the necessary test results to support our compliance documentation.”

Sulapac’s goal has always been to outperform regulatory requirements in terms of material safety. For example, even though most PFAS compounds are still allowed in the EU, the company has wanted to ensure that its materials are free from these harmful “forever chemicals”. While PFAS testing is still a relatively new field, making it difficult to source analyses beyond the standard set of compounds subject to restrictions, Measurlabs’ comprehensive screening capabilities have made this possible.

Long-term partnership is the key to success

Sulapac’s collaboration with Measurlabs has significantly influenced the company's journey from a small R&D team to a thriving business with several product lines and high-profile customers in multiple industries. Having a dedicated partner that has been able to support them with R&D needs, compliance issues, and unexpected analytical challenges has made all testing-related processes easy and quick, as both people and materials are familiar and no time is wasted on searching for new labs for new needs and re-introducing the material to them. 

The collaboration has enabled Sulapac to keep their research projects running at an optimal speed, easily navigating regulations and getting products to market with minimal delays. Measurlabs’ competitive prices and supportive experts have also safeguarded Sulapac from wasting money on costly extra tests or analyses performed with suboptimal methods.

In the words of Laura, "Measurlabs has been a great extension to our team. Their wide range of services, quick turnaround times, and expertise on the regulatory landscape have given us the edge we needed to succeed."

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