STELLENBOSCH – From an early age Eugene Smit combined different concepts and principles to try and turn his visions into reality. As young man, he studied industrial chemistry (up to Masters level), then later polymer science for his PhD, essentially to quench his desire to invent things; all the time believing the true measure of relevance of an invention is through commercial success. This ultimately led to a suite of patents, all of which are related to electrospinning of fibres and their processing. Notably, the first invention was for a process for commercial scale manufacturing of yarns from electrospun fibres, while two others exclusively relate to mass production of electrospun fibres to feed the yarn manufacturing process. These charters are now the core technologies around which the Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company (SNC) hopes to break new boundaries in nanoscale production. Tony Whitfield reports.