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Partnership on sustainable technologies for textiles

21 Aug 2012

The University of Manchester and Beyond Surface Technologies AG have joined forces on the development of sustainable technologies for textiles.

The two organisations have come together to provide alternatives to fossil-based raw materials currently used in textile processing. “Our aim is to help meet changing needs and improve sustainability in the textile industry,” explains Matthias Foessel, Managing Director of Beyond Surface Technologies.

Professor Chris Carr and Dr Muriel Rigout, School of Materials at The University of Manchester said: “Here at The University of Manchester we are developing innovative technologies that emphasise the use of renewable raw materials as well as biochemical technologies and Beyond Surface Technology is a dynamic company ideally placed to bring these to market.”

One of the initial projects is the replacement of formaldehyde-based glyoxal resins, which are widely used in easy-care finishing of cotton shirt and trouser fabrics. Beyond Surface Technologies, working through The University of Manchester’s IP commercialisation arm (UMIP), has entered into a licence agreement with the University in order to commercialise the formaldehyde-free finishing technology for easy care cotton.

Both The University of Manchester and Beyond Surface Technologies believe that this novel approach, based on sustainable biochemistry, will ultimately revolutionise easy-care finishing technology and replace conventional chemistries.

“This rapidly advancing development can benefit the entire textile value chain, from raw material to consumer,” concludes Matthias Foessel. “The new technology will help both to enhance the environmental compatibility of textile processing and to eliminate concerns about the potential health hazards associated with formaldehyde.”


About The University of Manchester:

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is one of the largest and most popular universities in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’. The University had an annual income of £809 million in 2010/11.

About UMIP:

The University of Manchester Intellectual Property is The University of Manchester’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation and is a division of The University of Manchester Iᶟ Ltd (www.umi3.com) – The University’s Innovation Group. UMIP is wholly owned by The University of Manchester which has over a 20 year history of IP commercialisation.

UMIP’s role is to bring as much of the University’s ground-breaking inventions and software, as is relevant, into the commercial world. This we do principally by attracting entrepreneurs, investors and corporate venture partners to our campus and Innovation Centre (www.umic.co.uk) and then, through engagement with our academic colleagues, licensing or spinning out companies.

Since UMIP’s inception in October 2004:

Over 1,900 invention disclosures have been received (314 during 2010/2011.) UMIP has set up 27 spin-out companies and brokered 263 licences and assignments and £189M has been invested by venture funders in University of Manchester spin-outs, a number of which have received national and regional enterprise awards. It currently has over 100 projects in its portfolio at various stages of development.

The University’s IP enterprises have generated approximately £45M to the University through the sale of shares in spin-outs, licensing income and through IP grants and contracts activity.

For more information, please visit www.umip.com

About BST: Beyond Surface Technologies AG is committed to providing advanced, high-quality surface effects for textile products. Looking beyond the traditional chemical supply chains, we develop new technologies combining top performance with sustainability in order to meet the requirements of the textile industry and the end user.

Notes for editors

Allan Prits, Head of Corporate Communications, The University of Manchester Innovation Group
Tel. +44 61 606 7240
www.umi3.com