Goldwin Inc. has agreed to invest nearly $30 million in Spiber Inc. to commercialized its synthetic spider silks for a high-performance next-generation material.
Under the agreement the two Japanese companies will form an exclusive operational partnership in the field of sports apparel and will jointly develop next-generation sports clothing. Goldwin has agreed to invest ¥3 billion, or nearly $30 million, to purchase 1.88 million shares, or about 12 percent of privately held Spiber to facilitate the development and commercialization of such products.
Resilient and highly elastic, this synthetic spider-web-like material, “Qmonos” (from Japanese “kumo-no-su,” meaning “spider web”), differs from petroleum-based fibers like polyester or nylon in that it is made from biomass, which does not depend on depleting fossil resources.
A state-of-the art microbial fermentation process is used to produce a protein called fibroin that is spun into the QMONOS fiber using a special spinning technology. This highly functional, environmentally friendly and sustainable next-generation material has attracted much attention with its great potential for commercial applications. In fact, Japanese Government Cabinet Office designated Spiber Inc. as a core research organization in a project known as “Super High-Function Structural Protein to Transform the Basic Materials Industry” under its ImPACT (Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies) program.
The two companies say the next-generation material is a breakthrough technology, which can enable a new sustainable business model that does not depend on oil. Such change will help solve the environmental problems the world faces today. Through this business partnership and investment, Goldwin is committed to work together with Spiber Inc. to establish a foundation for long-term growth in the sports apparel business.