SDC Innovation Award 2014

The SDC Innovation Award is designed to recognise those at the pinnacle of achievement in coloration innovation. The 2014 award attracted considerable international interest and publicity, and an impressive range of entries from a wide range of sectors and 17 countries worldwide. There were two categories, one for large scale organisations, and the other for small/medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The finalists were invited to showcase their entries at the SDC Day of Celebration, where the winners were also announced.  The winners received a cash prize of £1,000 and the SDC Innovation Award trophy.

The winner in the large scale category was Novozymes.  Read on for details of their innovation.

Category: Large scale organisations

Winner: Novozymes

Title of innovation: Combined dyeing and biopolishing

Enzymes are widely used in the production of cotton textiles because of their ability to act fast on specific substrates, and because of their ability to save energy, water and chemicals in production. That, in turn, means cost savings.

Novozymes has introduced a combined approach to pretreating fabrics and dyeing. This approach includes bioblasting to ensure the high quality of the final textiles. Conventionally, pretreatment and dyeing have been carried out in three steps: bleach clean-up, bioblasting and dyeing. The combined approach consolidates these steps into one, using an enzyme-product blend, containing a catalase and a neutral cellulase called Novozymes Cellusoft Combi.

Results show that the approach saves water and energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring a high-quality product. The study is based on full-scale production at the Indian textile mill Maral Overseas Ltd.

Han Kuilderd, Technical Service Manager Textile commented: ‘Novozymes is the leader in finding solutions through the use of enzymes that have proven environmental advantages but that also create an opportunity for mills to save money. We’re delighted and proud to win the SDC Innovation Award that recognises our Combi process as an industry game-changer. Previously, biopolishing needed to be carried out as a separate step either before or after dyeing, due to technical constraints. Our customers indicated that this lengthy process was a major concern so we took the challenge upon us and developed a new solution, which made it possible to combine biopolishing, bleach clean-up (i.e. removal of excess hydrogen peroxide) and dyeing in one process step. This solution is now being used by the leading textile manufacturers globally and is being recommended by industry experts as the preferred way to biopolish. At Novozymes we remain committed to delivering innovation for the textile industry – for instance we have just launched a new version of this award winning solution that allows customers to do efficient biopolishing at low temperatures”.

We would like to say thank you to our judging panel: Professor Bob Christie, Dr David Hinks, Dr John Provost, Professor Roger Wardman and the chair of the panel, Dr Ian Holme. Our thanks also go to everyone who entered.

The winner in the small and medium sized enterprises category (SME) was the University of Huddersfield, with their innovation – the ABC syringe – making invisible risk visible.

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