Leaving a cleaner earth for our children: that's what Eelco Osso really wants. The entrepreneur from Almelo is one of the three nominees for the Prince Friso Engineering Award.

Eelco Osse (44) took over his father's company, Machinefabriek Boessenkool, in 2005. In 2011, he started Osse Equipment Manufacturing Group, which has brought more than eight innovations to market as start-ups. Osse's awards include the 2018 Netherlands Innovation Award.

With his company, Osse Equipment Manufacturing Group, Osse primarily focuses on innovative machines that suit a sustainable society. The company originated from Machinefabriek Boessenkool, which Osse took over from his father. The technical expertise and many years of experience within the family firm, combined with his mechanical engineering insight and a nose for business, has already led to more than eight innovative start-ups.

One of these start-ups is S4 Manufacturing, which supplies stabilisation systems to electricity grids with green energy sources. S4 Manufacturing stabilises the often erratic power supply using large flywheels, which store up to 1 MW of surplus energy and then re-emit it when the grid experiences a dip. Grid operator Tennet has recently incorporated the system into the public grid in Almelo.


A Canadian innovator who Osse bumped into at a conference, helped him to design a spray can recycling machine. A year later, the first machine was made; his customers now include many international spray can manufacturers.

Osse seems to be more of a pragmatist than an idealist, being good at quickly analysing problems and coming up with solutions. That was demonstrated by the MultiToolTrac, an electrically powered tractor with a diesel generator for charging the battery pack. The vehicle's relatively low CO2 emissions are a major benefit, but the primary reason for his solution was neck pain: the farmers who beat a path to his door were all fed up with looking back. They wanted a tractor with the tool between the axles, right below their cabin. Because the tractor also needed to have an adjustable track width, an electrical drive turned out to be the best option.

Green enterprise

Green enterprise is not only good for the world, but also for the future of his company, the entrepreneur explained. ‘When orders from our machine factory declined due to the oil crisis, we had developed our recycling machines, flywheels and other innovations so far that these generated new orders.’ Because the family firm primarily supplies the oil and gas industry, the machine factory underwent an exemplary transition towards green enterprise.

Asked about his future plans, the mechanical engineer says that he needs to keep growing to meet demand. And adds laughing: ‘And to make it easier for myself, I've already started on the next project: scaling up a US machine that turns domestic waste into coal.’

Eelco Osse is one of the three nominees for the 2019 Prince Friso Engineering Award. Would you like to vote for the Public Award? Your vote can be cast on the KIVI voting page.

Text: Enith Vlooswijk

Photo: Lenneke Lingmont


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