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Research officer at NAT wins award for developing 'CRAILAR'

25
Nov '08
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc., reported Dr. Wing Sung, BSc, MSc, PhD, Principal Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada (NRC), was awarded the inaugural Clean Technology Innovation Award from the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) on November 18th for his work with NAT developing CRAILAR, its new organic fiber technology that creates an environmentally friendly alternative to cotton, and for his work reducing toxic effluent in the production of paper and textiles.

Dr. Sung said, “I am grateful for the support, vision and determined attitude of our collaborator NAT. In the last two years, we developed the organic enzyme bath process called CRAILAR that transforms hemp into fiber using conventional cotton equipment with no modifications. We are very excited the project is now moving to the commercialization stage.

As announced on Nov. 17th, CRAILAR's advanced technology produced successful spinning and knitting trials of hemp blend yarns and fabric for Hanesbrands Inc. The ground breaking results pave the way for hemp to enter mainstream apparel production using traditional cotton knitting systems and for commercialization of CRAILAR as a sustainable alternative to organic cotton.”

“Dr. Sung and the NRC share NAT's commitment to the development of cleantech as both good stewardship and an obligation to the future generations,” said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT.“His brilliant study of proteins and enzymes has been pivotal in developing CRAILAR, an alternative to cotton that will lead to minimizing the apparel industry's environmental footprint.

By producing hemp fibers that are stronger, longer lasting, warmer and more absorbent than cotton, but just as soft and bright, CRAILAR's disruptive technology positions NAT and the NRC to contribute a viable solution for the rapidly growing global renewable bio-fiber industry.”

The award, the latest of several in the last 10 years, was based on Dr. Sung's leadership and promotion of the life sciences industry for over 10 years, his collaboration with the industry on a national scale, and his strong research record that is supported by 24 patents issued, including 6 in the US.

Dr. Sung is a Principal Research Officer at the Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, with research interests in protein engineering of industrial enzymes, bio-products and natural fiber. His current research involves protein engineering and application of glycosidase enzymes for the extraction of plant fibers for textile and bio-composite materials.

Dr. Sung is the researcher behind four generations of engineered xylanases for the production of bleached pulp, in partnership with Iogen Corporation of Ottawa. Iogen develops, manufactures and markets industrial enzymes. Sung's xylanase technology processes two million tons of pulp in Canada and USA annually, resulting in a net saving of between $500,000 - $1,000,000/year per facility.


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