24 November 2008, Portland, Oregon – 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(R), its new organic fibre 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 fibre using conventional cotton equipment with no modifications. We are very excited the project is now moving to the commercialization stage. As announced on November 17, 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 fibres 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-fibre 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 fibre. His current research involves protein engineering and application of glycosidase enzymes for the extraction of plant fibres 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.
Between 1997 and 2007, this technology was responsible for a cumulative reduction of 100,000 tons of undesirable organochloride by-products by reducing the amount of chlorine bleach required in the production of 25 million tons of bleached pulp.
About Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation
The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) is Ottawa’s leading member-based economic development corporation for fostering the advancement of the region’s globally competitive knowledge-based institutions and industries. OCRI delivers its economic development services through a unique partnership with the City of Ottawa, where the City and OCRI, through its members set the strategy and manage the programs that move Ottawa’s economy forward. OCRI is a non-profit, partnership organization that operates on an annual budget that comes from a variety of sources including: municipal, federal and provincial government; membership fees; professional development programs; and private sector contributions.
About Naturally Advanced Technologies, Inc.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. is committed to unlocking the potential of renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from hemp and other bast fibers. NAT, through its wholly owned subsidiary Crailar Fiber Technologies Inc., is developing proprietary technologies for production of bast fibers, cellulose pulp, and their resulting by-products, in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council and the Alberta Research Council. CRAILAR(R) technology offers cost-effective and environmentally sustainable processing and production of natural, bast fibers such as hemp and flax, resulting in increased performance characteristics for use in textile, industrial, energy, medical and composite material applications. The Company is also a provider of sustainable, environmentally friendly fibers and fabrics through its apparel division HTnaturals. Founded in 1998 in response to the growing demand for environmentally friendly, socially responsible clothing, NAT adheres to a “triple bottom line” philosophy, respecting the human rights of employees, the environmental impact of the Company’s operations and fiscal responsibility to its shareholders.