Low-Cost, Eco-Friendly Synthetics
The bio-degradable synthetic fibres developed by HKRITA for the textiles industry are non-plant-based oxo-biodegradable material. The oxo-degradation of synthetic fibres such as polyester is initialised by the synergistic interactions among two or more transition metals. After the degradation of fibres to the molecular weight of around 5,000 Da, the fibres can be further bio-degraded. The developed fibres are able to alleviate the environmental problems caused by waste disposal of synthetic polymers.
The production process of bio-degradable synthetic fibres is compatible with current manufacturing equipment. As there is no need to apply any plant-based material in the production, low cost and good mechanical and thermal properties are maintained.
The bio-degradable synthetic fibres can be applied to the production of disposable products such as hairnets, masks and isolation gowns. It can also produce other degradable non-woven materials, such as filters which have specific expiry dates and need to be replaced periodically.
Intellectual Properties Go Global
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is dedicated to developing Hong Kong as Asia’s intellectual property (IP) marketplace, with an online platform and an annual flagship event as its key initiatives for the promotion of IP trading
Developed and managed by the HKTDC, the Asia IP Exchange (AsiaIPEX) at www.asiaipex.com is an online IP trading platform and database which has more than 15,000 members. AsiaIPEX has formed alliances with more than 30 strategic partners from around the world, including the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).
More than 25,000 tradable IP listings are now available on AsiaIPEX, with all-aqueous emulsion, developed by HKU and bio-degradable synthetic fibres, created by HKRITA among the most distinctive examples. The latter won a Gold Medal with Jury’s Commendation at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2015.
“AsiaIPEX provides a resourceful yet focused platform which links up global IP seekers with IP service providers,” says Yan Chan, director of business development at HKRITA. “Being a strategic partner of AsiaIPEX for several years, we have received enquiries on specific IPs and technologies which lead to further discussions and collaborations.”
Professor Paul Cheung, director of the technology transfer office and associate vice-president (research) at HKU, believes that AsiaIPEX is increasingly important because it helps home-grown technologies and innovations go beyond Hong Kong to reach global IP traders.
Apart from operating an IP trading portal, the HKTDC also joins hands with the Hong Kong SAR Government and Hong Kong Design Centre to organise the annual Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum every December for IP owners and buyers to explore business collaboration opportunities.