Nanogate, a leading international nanotechnology enabler, has secured a significant initial order for its new technology platform, permaProtect Membran, which makes functional textiles for numerous different uses more hygienic and more comfortable. The new technology takes the form of a membrane and is the first to combine antimicrobial, breathable and moisture-controlling properties. In the long term, it has the potential to deliver seven-digit sales figures. The technology platform was developed in conjunction with sarastro GmbH, in which Nanogate has an equity holding. The first application alone will potentially generate earnings in the mid-six-figure region. This order is for the production of an innovative shoe insole that offers improved hygienic properties and greater comfort. It comes from a leading European shoe retailer.
Ralf Zastrau, CEO of Nanogate AG, commented: "Our new technology platform permaProtect Membran is a high-performance solution for the fast-growing functional textiles market, offering improved hygienic properties. As well as minimising unpleasant odours and the risk of infection, our innovation improves moisture wicking and temperature regulation. With this development - which combines various different properties - our equity holding in sarastro is paying off after just a few months. Together, we are providing high-performance solutions to cater for the fast-growing demand for applications with enhanced comfort and hygienic properties. This technology is the only one of its kind in the world; a patent is already pending."
Wide-ranging uses for innovative technology
The new technology can be used in numerous hygiene-sensitive applications, e.g. in sectors such as medicine or high-volume applications like shoes, car seats and beds. Demand for textiles with enhanced comfort and hygiene protection is growing considerably. This is due in part to the rising number of allergy sufferers and diabetics.
permaProtect Membran is the first technology to enable what are known as active and passive properties to be combined in a membrane, which is integrated into a bonding system consisting of several textile layers. It continuously emits controlled quantities of selected microbiologically active agents which prevent bacteria and germs from multiplying (active function). At the same time, micro-organisms are excluded mechanically by a barrier layer which also maintains the fabric's air permeability, moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating properties (passive function).
Nanogate is a leading international enabler in the nanotechnology growth market and so opens the gate to this technology for its customers. The firm, which is based in Göttelborn (Saarland), enables the programming and integration of additional properties – such as non-stick, anti-bacterial, anti-corrosive and ultra-low friction – into materials and surfaces. Nanogate thereby gains a competitive edge for its customers by product refinement using chemical nanotechnology. Nanogate covers a wide range of industries, functions and substrates on the basis of technology platforms. The company thus provides a decisive interface for the commercial use of chemical nanotechnology and bridges the gap between the suppliers of raw materials and industrial conversion into products. In doing so, Nanogate concentrates as an enabler on one of the most attractive segments in the industry. As a partner in innovation, Nanogate provides many services along the value chain – from development and production of innovative nanocomposities and nanostructured materials to powerful support for innovation and product integration.
The Nanogate Group currently has 84 employees in all (as of September 2009) and since commencing operations in 1999 has been a trailblazer in nanotechnology. The company has first-class customer references (e.g. ABB, BSH Bosch-Siemens Haushaltsgeräte, Kärcher, Koenig & Bauer AG, Opel and REWE Austria) and many years’ experience of different industries and applications. To date, more than 150 projects have gone into mass production. Nanogate has also entered into strategic cooperations with international companies such as the GEA Group and Dow Corning. The Group also includes Nanogate Advanced Materials GmbH, which specialises in complex applications like high-performance optics, FNP GmbH in the area of sport/leisure, a majority shareholding in Holmenkol AG and a shareholding in sarastro GmbH.
Innovation-driven competitive advantage
Using this guiding motto, Nanogate AG launched a comprehensive innovation offensive in 2009 in order to open up new growth prospects for its clients. To achieve this, Nanogate increased its investments and funding significantly - in particular in the 2009 financial year - and has since then presented a multitude of innovations. Since going public in 2006 the company has already invested several million euros in developing new technology platforms and has transformed these into marketable products. Nanogate has successfully illustrated its expertise in more than 150 cases, using innovations to provide its clients with a competitive advantage.