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Materials made from natural NZ wool go hi-tech in China

Materials made from natural New Zealand wool go hi-tech in China

Auckland, November 15th: With concern growing in China about the health risks from air pollution, a Kiwi start-up is expecting keen interest in its wool-based filtration products when it exhibits at the China High-Tech Fair.

Auckland-based Texus Fibre specialises in next generation materials which harness wool’s outstanding natural functionality for use in a range of products. An early application for its technology is personal particulate respirators and filters for use in industry.

“Around the world, and particularly in China, people are increasingly worried about the increase in the quantity and toxicity of dust,” says Texus Fibre founder and director Nick Davenport. “The problem has grown to the point that the World Health Organisation recently classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans.

“There is real demand for alternatives to synthetics which is what Texus offers—our Helix filter, for example, does not contribute to airborne pollution at any stage of its life cycle. It is a natural product which outperforms synthetics and can be trusted to be safe and environmentally friendly.”

Texus Fibre will attend the China High-Tech Fair, being held in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province, as part of a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise delegation. The Minister of Economic Development, the Hon. Steven Joyce, will also attend the fair which takes place from 16 – 21 November.

The China High–Tech Fair, being held for the 15th year, has grown to become the largest and most influential science and technology event in China. It attracts around 3,000 exhibitors from 50 countries and more than half a million visitors pass through the doors during the five-day fair.

Davenport says New Zealand’s reputation as a premium producer of wool gives Texus Fibre an advantage with customers.

“We will be leveraging off New Zealand’s established reputation for selecting sheep that have superior genetics and produce wool with ideal functionality.

“Customers who are frustrated with the limitations of synthetic materials are often amazed by what wool can do naturally, such as modulate temperature and humidity, manage moisture and absorb toxins. The fact that it is also biodegradable and renewable is an additional plus.”

Texus Fibre’s technologies are underpinned by decades of scientific research from the major Australasian textile technology research centres combined with the company’s own, ongoing research and development.

Davenport says that deep scientific capability also gives Texus Fibre an edge in international markets.

“Offering products that are natural, biodegradable and made from renewable resources is increasingly important but it’s not enough on its own. Customers also want to see the evidence that they can perform well and we can do that with our filtration products.

“Texus products harness the alpha helix DNA molecule which is embedded in wool and delivers superior functionality. By using those naturally occurring properties, our filter manages moisture better, stays drier and keeps performing at optimum levels for longer.”

It is Texus Fibre’s first foray into China and Davenport says the company is looking forward to talking to potential customers about how its technology can be adapted to meet their needs and find out more about doing business in China.

“We’re fortunate to be attending the China High–Tech Fair alongside some of New Zealand’s most successful international companies (including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Gallagher Group, Wellington Drive and Power by Proxi) so it’s a great opportunity for us to learn from them about doing business in China.”

Texus Fibre will also be meeting with potential investors while in China, ahead of a capital raising round in 2014 which Davenport expects to attract global interest.

Formed in 2011, Texus Fibre has a strong management team with many years’ experience in product innovation and entrepreneurship, an established board of directors and a scientific advisory board.

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