Jakob Sadar (20), founder and CEO of OPS Technologies, first came up with his innovative idea after scratching his father’s watch and having to find an immediate solution to solve this problem.He started rubbing the scratch with his fingernail and it had a positive effect. After reflecting on this idea for a few years, Jakob finally managed to develop his idea for an eco-friendly micro-powder polishing paste during the Company Programme of the EIT Skills for the Future educational project, which helps students aged 14-19 develop their entrepreneurial skills and find creative solutions to critical sustainability problems.
In Slovenia, EIT Skills for the Future focuses on bringing innovation to the raw materials sector. During the project, Jakob developed the business idea through the sustainability challenges posed in the learning programme. With the help of industry mentors, he shaped the product and created a mini-company. That’s how OPS Technologies (Organic Polishing Structure) entered the competition and became the winner of the 2021 EIT Skills for the Future National Competition in Slovenia.
Today OPS is a student-led start-up that produces a micro-powder paste made of bovine horn parts. Competitive steel polishing pastes are currently made of lab-made diamonds, which cost three times more than the paste offered by OPS Technologies. Jakob found a way to develop a paste out of bovine horns, which are thrown away every day as waste in the food industry, thus adopting circular economy practices and considerably reducing production costs. The paste is based on an organic structure, revolutionising the field of steel polishing and offering an eco-friendly solution at a competitive price.
Jakob is currently a first-year student at the University of Maribor, where he continues research with the support of his professor to improve the polishing paste. Meanwhile, his company is passing through an intensive business development process. The polishing paste is being tested and used in tool workshops where injection moulding tools are manufactured, and the results are surpassing expectations! The polishing paste composition has been protected by Jakob in Slovenia with a patent that he applied for in May 2021. One year later, within the so-called 'priority' period, Jakob wanted to extend the scope of the protection with an international PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patent application. Through this PCT application procedure, he can apply for protection in 156 different countries with a single international application.
In late 2021, Jakob became a member of the Australian-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, where he has the chance to exchange experiences between young entrepreneurs and innovators.
In November 2021, Jakob was invited to join a Slovenian delegation at EXPO Dubai during the ‘Slovenian Business Forum: Advanced Materials for a Green Future’. He describes it as a fantastic opportunity for himself and his company, where he presented OPS Technologies to potential investors and partners and received valuable feedback. We are thrilled to have supported this process, and we wish OPS Technologies good luck in reaching their dreams!