It all started with spider web.
It was 2009. Technical Research Centre of Finland’s (VTT) cellulose expert Juha Salmela was researching nanocellulose, its rheology and paper production. He attended a conference in Oxford university and heard a presentation from a leading spider researcher, who explained the similarities between a spider web’s protein and nanocellulose.
That’s when an idea came to Juha: what if wood fibre could be spun into textile fibre? The professor immediately thought it was something Juha should look into and develop.
As part of an EU project, Juha and VTT began to take the innovation forward and soon applied for a patent for the idea. The innovation was fostered in VTT for some time before Janne Poranen, Head of Biomaterials research area at VTT, made his own decision to spin the business off.
Janne asked Juha to join in and when getting a yes, the story of Spinnova began. With the support of the first investors including VTT, Spinnova was founded by Juha and Janne in early 2015.
See all our key partners.
Building a Dream Team
Three key people from Juha’s research team, Pasi Selenius, Johanna Liukkonen and Sanna Haavisto, also joined at the very beginning, which was critical for the smooth start and successful development of the company.
After two years of laboratory scale R&D, the technology was scaled up to a continuous pilot scale that was specifically built for this.
Juha and Janne gradually put together a great team of experienced chemists and physicists they knew. We are now 13 people, devoted to our cause.
In 2018, our journey is on the verge of commercialization. The technology will be scaled up from a small pilot scale to an industrial pilot scale this year. We will also be finalizing product properties and production processes, while working on selected prototypes with existing partners.
Marimekko is the first partner we have announced, entering R&D cooperation with us as part of their sustainability strategy.
Read the press release.