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The first process to synthesize Leather ‒ A fabric with the identical chemical composition and exact mechanical properties as leather

Objective

Leather is a highly sought-after product for its very specific look, touch, feel and durability properties. It is considered a premium material in the fashion, upholstery and automobile industries. The leather production market, with an estimated value of €100 billion is projected to grow by 6.2% to 2023. Sadly, the leather industry is one of the most polluting, due to the hide and skin tanning processes (excess water use, chemical spills, millions of CO2 emissions, worker health problems, skin diseases, filthy working conditions especially for women). Sustainability in leather production is a must in this day and age when eco-labels are sought after by brands to stand out from the crowd, as consumers demand higher quality standards. Currently, the one and only way to produce real leather is by taking the skin from an animal. Yes, alternatives like PVC and plant-based products exist, but their composition and properties are nowhere near that of real leather. Hence, they can never be adequate substitutes. At Gelatex, we have developed a cutting-edge new method of synthesizing layers of collagen, made from gelatin, creating a fabric of unprecedented quality, chemically equivalent to leather. Gelatex is the first to deliver this new animal-like leather without the need for tanning. The material is designed and configured following the industry requirements on tensile strength, resistance (to tear, to flexing, to puncture), good heat insulation, water vapor permeability and comfort. Ours is a scalable and efficient process allowing for Gelatex to be sold below the cost of current leather. We will can sell our tailor-made leather in colors thicknesses and sizes desired by our customers (manufacturers of leather articles). We thus expect to achieve revenues of €10 million in just 3 years. As our production facilities expand alongside a possible licensing model, our tech has the potential to generate €2 billion in revenue in only 10 years.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/colors
  • /social sciences/other social sciences/social sciences interdisciplinary/sustainable development

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEInst-2018-2020-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1

Coordinator

GELATEX TECHNOLOGIES OU
Address
Trummi 6-16
12616 Tallinn
Estonia
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000