The Role of Biotechnology in Europe's Responsible Innovation - Amsilk

 

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Short listed SMEs for the SME Award

Who?


AMSilk aims to be a key player in the newly emerging biopolymer industry in the clean-tech sector. The company is the leading specialist in the development of spider silk proteins and their applications in fibres, coatings, and films.


When?
AMSilk was founded towards the end of 2008 in Germany.


What?
AMSilk Technology, pioneered at the Technische Universität München, has broken through the production barrier, allowing the industrial production of spider silk and other biomaterials to be employed in ground-breaking new biopolymer materials. The toughness and ductility of spider silk has attracted human interest for thousands of years. In combining strength with elasticity, silks reveal toughness two to three times that of synthetic fibers such as Nylon or Kevlar. The boundless possibilities for spider silk fibers are further enhanced by the additional attributes of being antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. Spider silk causes no inflammation or allergic reaction.


How?
AMSilk delivers performance proteins as raw material and semi-finished or interstage products (including spheres, membranes, films, nonwovens and fibres) to customers seeking new materials with the specifications for their next-generation products across several industries. The unique property-giving characteristics of these new materials can be manipulated in a directed way, at several levels, to design tailor-made products.  They can be applied in numerous sectors such as in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, composites, and technical textile industries.


Why?
Comment from the EuropaBio judging panel for the Most Innovative European SME on why AMSilk has been shortlisted for the award:

“Industrial application of biotechnology is already a major area of innovation with many important products already on the market and also with a growing list of opportunities. AMSilk is at the cutting edge of companies taking advantage of biotechnology to develop innovative new materials. Drawing upon a natural phenomenon, AMSilk has created a new class of biopolymers utilising silk proteins produced on an industrial scale in conventional bioreactors with tensile strength rivaling that of steel and elasticity rivaling that of rubber. While the applications are broad, AMSilk has demonstrated the potential of this technology in the coating of silicone implants in reconstructive surgery without the side effects typically associated with these procedures. Their biocompatible and hypoallergic properties also make these materials attractive as carriers for small molecule drugs. Other applications include dermatology, cosmetics and woundcare. Offering prototypes of films and non-wovens, AMSilk offers the potential for early income addressing the biomaterial needs of a range of industries.”