What Is Environics and Its Distinction in Ukraine?

We met Krister Liljegren, a representative of the Finnish company Environics, at the XVI International Exhibition Forum “Protection Technologies/FireTech-2017” in Kyiv.

Environics participates annually in the exhibition forum to demonstrate the latest technologies for identification of radiological, chemical, biological and nuclear (RCBN) threats. To learn what kind of equipment Environics brought to the exhibition this year, as well as their actual and future cooperation plans in Ukraine, read the interview with Krister Liljegren carried out specially for the Uatom.org website.  

Area Manager Krister Liljegren, representative of Environics Company

– Mr. Liljegren, what does Environics do?

– We are the world’s leading supplier of equipment for the detection of radiological, chemical, biological and nuclear (RCBN) threats. During the last 30 years we have been working to ensure safety for both general public and national security. We supply innovative solutions for protection of the entire society: from equipment for civil authorities to more complex solutions for the military sector.  

The range of Environics equipment is very extensive. Our team includes highly skilled experts with many years of experience in implementing complex projects for identification of RCBN hazards.

We aim to satisfy the customers needs through a continuous development of the latest technologies and innovative solutions in this area.

Do you have a large number of staff?

– We are a team of approximately 60 members.

What equipment does Environics present at the exhibition forum this year?  

– This year we demonstrated different equipment, such as our handheld chemical detector ChemPro100i and RanidPro200 a backpack for radiological detection and identification, yet the latest one is the EnVision GOSSAMER, an integrated environmental monitoring device. This device monitors critical sites for intentional releases of hazardous substances. EnVision GOSSAMER can also identify radiation contamination and is equipped with a meteorological station that collects weather data.

Of course, we are very happy to have the SSTC NRS crew participating the exhibition together with the RanidSONNI vehicle.

How does EnVision GOSSAMER function?

– The device collects information from the site of event and transmits it to the control center through a communication system. There, the data is processed by a specially dedicated software. If a hazard is detected, the system records it, reports its type and calculates further progress of the events. After that, the experts decide how to prevent the hazard and mitigate its consequences.

What is the price of EnVision GOSSAMER?

– The price of this device is established on a case-by-case basis considering the customer’s needs since the system may assume different configurations, and different power supplies and communication systems can be installed.  

Is EnVision GOSSAMER the latest development of Environics?

– No, actually our latest innovation is RanidSOLO, a spectrometric radiation source locator for RanidPro200 backpack. The official release of this device took place on 7th of November. The launch webinar is available here.

– Mr. Liljegren, what are the prime customers of Environics equipment?

– We are the largest company in Finland in this business area. Nevertheless, frankly speaking, the Finnish market is very small for us. Environics equipment follows all NATO standards, therefore NATO countries are very important customers for us.  Asia-Pacific also represent strong markets currently.

What are your partners in Ukraine?

– We established cooperation in Ukraine with different authorities: border guards and other structures working for safety and security. In addition, we have been cooperating for more than seven years with SSTC NRS and SNRIU. 

– In 2010, Environics transferred radiological reconnaissance vehicle – RanidSONNI – to Ukraine. Is it being used for its intended purpose?

– I think SSTC NRS and SNRIU use the radiological reconnaissance vehicle very efficiently. Actually, you only need to visit the SSTC NRS website to confirm this. There are regular reports on surveys of territories and facilities using RanidSONNI equipment.  

 – In summer, SSTC NRS experts carried out a radiation survey by towns of Ukraine to examine the territories of six settlements in Zhytomyr, Rivne and Volyn regions. Is RanidSONNI equipment used for the same purpose in Finland?

 – I know for sure that Finnish RanidSONNI is constantly used for its intended purpose. This is especially the case for different radiation incidents, as well as for VIP visits from other countries. RanidSONNI is used every year in joint exercises between different authorities and can also be used to perform similar surveys as in Ukraine.

As for me personally, SSTC NRS radiation surveys are an excellent way to use the vehicle. After all, as I saw on the SSTC NRS website, they brought appropriate results.

Does Environics have worthy competitors on the global market?

– There are not so many companies in the world market that supply complex systems for the detection and identification of radiological, chemical, biological and nuclear hazards. There are many companies mostly in Europe, Asia and in the USA that produce equipment separately for each area. The competition between them is really high.

The advantage of Environics is that it proposes complete integrated solutions for detection and identification of RCBN hazards.

Besides NATO countries, where else do you supply equipment?

– In general, we cooperate with more than 50 countries globally. Important for us is our own market in Finland. The cooperation with Ukraine is also remarkable, as well as with the Middle-East and Asian countries. Recently we have started to work with African customers as well.

Anyway, we appreciate all our customers, we provide support and training after the delivery of the equipment, and we try to respond promptly to every phone call.

What priorities are the most significant for Environics?

– We are actively working to expand our sales market. For this purpose, the company has recently engaged a large number of new employees into the sales department. We are also strongly focused on the development of our services and after sales support, to be able to serve our customers better.

What challenges has the company to overcome presently?

– First of all, it is the global financial crisis. Many companies have already cut their budget.

If we are talking about large-scale projects in the field of safety and security, their implementation usually takes much time. At this stage, we should be very patient, because we do not sell mobile phones or household items. More than several years may be spent sometimes to establish a productive dialogue with a particular customer. Sometimes a customer may require changes, so we have to implement different modifications promptly. There are actually many challenges. Nevertheless, by overcoming them, we provide the customer with the solutions that are actually needed.

How do you advertise the Company?

 – We participate annually plenty exhibitions, trade shows, conferences and other kinds of events around the globe. We arrange workshops, and efficiently work in social networks, as well as other means of online visibility. We readily share experience and knowledge of our company, since we have a very important mission: to help in the identification of life threatening radiological, chemical, biological and nuclear hazards.

Uatom.org editorial board