THE WHAT? Unilever and Innova Partnerships are hoping to harness the power of seaweed in order to produce self-cleaning surfaces.
THE DETAILS The pair have formed a Joint Venture biotechnology company, Penrhos Bio, to commercialize a technology that means self-cleaning surfaces could become a reality.
Unilever has been researching an organic compound called Lactam, which can prevent or block bacteria and mould on everyday surfaces, for the past 10 years. The patented technology is derived from natural chemicals in seaweed biology and could be used across a range of applications including g preventing fungal growth in washing machines and self-cleaning banknotes.
THE WHY? Unilever says that Penhros Bio could help tackle some of the biggest societal and environmental challenges of this century. Dr Jon Hague, Unilever’s Vice President for Science & Technology, Unilever Homecare explains, “The commercialised use of Lactam presents a significant opportunity for cleaning products globally and could revolutionise the industry. However, what we have found is a unique technology in which its uses are almost limitless. We recognise what this technology can represent at scale for many sectors outside of Unilever’s portfolio. Through Penrhos Bio, we want to connect with other industries that would benefit from using this solution.”