Dr Simon King, a postdoc researcher at the ATI, has successfully completed a three-month secondment to Revolution Fibres Ltd, based in Auckland, New Zealand. Revolution Fibres is New Zealand’s premier Advanced Materials company and one of the world’s leading producers of nanofibre and recent recipient of the prestigious Textiles Institute Innovation in Textiles Award.
Since its inception in 2009, Revolution Fibres has created lab, pilot and industrial-scale electrospinning machines using their innovative Sonic Electrospinning Technology, which has the flexibility and capacity to produce commercial quantities of nanofibre for applications such as: filtration, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, composite, acoustic, biotechnology and anti-allergy.
Through a joint sponsorship between the EPSRC and Revolution Fibres, Dr King worked alongside the ‘Revo’ team to facilitate the commercial translation of his innovative electrospun highly-conductive carbon nanotube wires technology, as well as gain crucial insight into the steps required to ensure his future research is also commercially viable.
Dr King commented, “Being gifted with such a fantastic opportunity has not only enabled me to work alongside the world-leading electrospinning experts as a member of the Revo team, but also allowed me to gain hands-on experience with applying my electrospinning research to industrial-sized manufacturing facilities. The experience, the memories and the friendships I have gained as a result of this trip is truly priceless, and I am very grateful to the EPSRC and Revolutions Fibres for making it happen.”
“The secondment was a fruitful win-win for Revo and Dr King” says Iain Hosie, Revolution Fibres CEO. “We gained a great team member with great electrospinning knowledge, and Simon saw his research reach a new level of production. It was very collaborative. Now we want to continue this momentum with more R&D and business relationships in the UK”
As a direct output of the trip, upon his return, Dr King and Revolution Fibres have continued the pioneering collaborative research and further expanded their areas of focus to include composites and conductive non-woven smart-textiles. They are also in the process of facilitating the expansion of Revolution Fibres into a UK-based joint-venture spin-out company, providing jobs and export for the UK.