sugru is unique because it not only enables people to repair things easily, but also gives them the satisfaction of taking a stand against our throwaway society
New silicone material combines a unique range of properties. The Company and its inventors believe that sugru™ will become a household essential for responsible consumers the world over.
LONDON, 11 August 2009 – FormFormForm Ltd. (http://www.formformform.com), a pioneering new business combining product design and silicone technology, is preparing for the consumer market launch of its patented new class of silicone materials. Available online from Autumn, sugru™ is a new concept in consumer adhesives. It has a unique range of properties that combine to deliver specific advantages over other adhesives, making it ideal for repairing and adapting existing products. The Company is also seeking new funding to support phase two of the brand launch and to expand the business.
sugru is the result of on an invention made five years ago by Jane ní Dhulchaointigh, then a post-graduate research student at London’s Royal College of Art. She wanted a mouldable, self-adhesive and self-curing silicone that would enable people to easily and affordably repair, improve or customise things they already own. Since no existing product had these features, she devised the concept and brought it into reality in partnership with entrepreneur Roger Ashby, backing from the Royal College of Art, and the technical expertise of senior silicone materials scientists formerly of the world’s leading silicones group, Dow Corning.
Jane comments: “We all throw away dozens of perfectly good products every year because they break, wear through or are uncomfortable to use. sugru is unique because it not only enables people to repair things easily, but also gives them the satisfaction of taking a stand against our throwaway society by celebrating and enjoying repairs. The number of different uses people have found for sugru makes me think that it could become as universal as Velcro® or Duck® Tape. Our forthcoming consumer market launch will position the product as a practical tool to care for the environment, by making repair and reuse a realistic and fun option!”
sugru is the first product to enter the market using FormFormForm’s patented platform technology, Formerol®, which offers a combined range of properties that are unique among silicone materials. It can easily be moulded by hand or machine at ambient temperatures; its plasticity can be specified as required; it incorporates moisture-activated curing and it adheres to metal substrates, glass, ceramics, some woods and some plastics; it is waterproof, highly durable, electrically and thermally insulating, heat-resistant to 180°C; and it cures at room temperature during a period of hours to give a smooth or textured non-slip surface. Examples of how sugru can be used are shown at http://www.sugru.com and further information on the platform technology is available at http://www.formerol.com.
Three patents, covering the US, EU, China and India, protect all the key inventions inherent to sugru and the Formerol platform technology. In combination, these patents ring-fence the composition of matter and protect a wide range of use applications.
In addition to its work in the consumer adhesive market, FormFormForm has a product development contract with a leading global brand of professional garden hand tools. In this application, Formerol is moulded directly onto forged aluminium handles. A high incidence of repetitive strain injury among professional hand tool users is driving the need improve the comfort of such tools; in partnership with FormFormForm the customer is developing a new range with improved grip technology by enabling handles to conform to the hands of individual users.
FormFormForm is seeking £250,000 of new investment. It will be used to expand the business by scaling up production, investing in the development of the sugru brand and to gain shelf space in major retail chains. The Company is open to conversation with manufacturers, distributors and brand owners who would like to explore Formerol technology and its potential advantages and opportunities in new market sectors.
The Company has been funded to date by FormFormForm’s founders, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), private equity investment from Lacomp EIS fund, and a grant from the Technology Strategy Board. In June 2009 additional private investment was secured from a senior executive of a major European manufacturing group based in Ireland. The new investor brings considerable international commercial experience to the team.
About FormFormForm Ltd.
FormFormForm Ltd is a talented and successful team of product designers, materials scientists and business developers involved in the R&D and supply of new silicone materials. Founded in 2004, the Company works with leading global brands, forward-thinking manufacturers and design teams to develop new generations of products that exploit the exciting possibilities of its consumer brand sugru™ and its platform technology Formerol® . Together with its business partners, FormFormForm Ltd is developing products that will pioneer comfort, repair and reuse, and mass-customisation across a diverse range of product sectors. The Company is advised by Europe’s leading Patent Attorney Partnership, Marks&Clerk LLP.
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