The Loop Factory secures EU Horizon funding for Dry Forming Technology commercialization
01 Apr 2021 --- The Loop Factory has been awarded exclusive funding from the EU Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator to commercialize its Yangi Dry Forming Technology for fiber-based packaging.
The patent-pending technology produces resource-efficient, 3D molded renewable packaging as a cost-efficient alternative to single-use plastics.
The EU is tackling the ten single-use plastic items most commonly found on Europe’s beaches through its Single-Use Plastics Directive. Member States will have until mid-2021 to ban items such as cutlery, beverage stirrers, straws and plates.
Yangi Dry Forming Technology results from a 10-year R&D process and is now ready for scaling with global industrial partners in the packaging value chain.
“The EIC funding will focus on bringing the technology to the market, [including] building an industrial demo for developing applications with customers,” Anna Altner, CEO and founder of The Loop Factory, tells PackagingInsights.
“We are targeting five different segments – Fresh Food, Horeca, Dairy, Cosmetics and FMCG – where our focus is to work with companies wanting to be best in class in sustainable materials.”
Next stop commercialization
The funding of almost 2 million Euros (US$2.3 million) will help the company commercialize the technology, starting with implementing a full-scale demo plant and partner pilot projects.
“There is a challenge in bringing deep tech innovations to the market, where fruitful collaboration along the value chain is needed to qualify technology and prepare for investments,” highlights Altner.
“We are working with and inviting industrial stakeholders to jointly scale the technology in terms of suppliers of materials, machinery, integration, packaging producers and brands.”
EIC Accelerator offered its support: “The innovation has the potential to disrupt the existing market because of the sustainability of the manufacturing process and resources used.”
Yangi technology has also been recognized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a key enabling technology for the circular economy, with the potential for building new material and product platforms to support long-term sustainability agendas.
Yangi is a Dry Fibre Technology enabling high-speed production without using water. It can improve environmental impact significantly, reducing carbon footprint up to 90 percent compared to conventional plastics.
Moreover, the technology can reduce energy consumption up to 75 percent compared to state-of-the-art fiber molding technologies, the company says.
“The potential in lowering the carbon footprint compared to plastics is due to the high efficiency and low energy consumption in the dry forming technology, the use of renewable cellulose materials as well as the high recycling rate for paper-based packaging compared to plastics, where most plastics are incinerated,” explains Altner.
“The individual process steps in the dry forming technology platform are built on well-known techniques. However, the application and combination of the individual process steps are unique for the Yangi technology.”
“Compared to other players active in this area, our platform has a different forming procedure and different combination of the process steps.”
Innova Market Insights recently identified “Fiber-based Frenzy” as its third top packaging trend for 2021, documenting the rising sophistication and availability of fiber-based solutions as viable alternatives to single-use plastics.
Yangi technology can produce various single-use products, such as food trays, cups and refill packaging.
By Joshua Poole
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