Launched in January, research and product development company Spinnova Ltd. is the latest spin-off of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. Spinnova is developing fibre to yarn (F2Y) technology which is totally different from traditional textile yarn production. F2Y technology uses no dissolution chemicals to dissolve wood fibre to a polymer level and regenerate cellulosic filaments. Instead the technology allows the production of novel, low cost and environmentally friendly textile yarns for filaments made directly from wood fibres through a wet spinning process.
Spinnova's technique is ideal for refining Finnish long fibre length woods, such as that of pine and spruce species. It is the only technology which can be used to manufacture yarn directly from wood fibres without chemical processing.
Janne Poranen, the CEO of Spinnova, has had a long career in leadership positions in pulp and paper making research at VTT. The inventor behind the technique, Juha Salmela, is the company's CTO. Innovation originates from VTT's pulp and paper sector research.
Spinnova's wood fibre yarn project won the Ministry of Employment and the Economy's biorefinery competition in February 2015.
Spinnova has attracted EUR 1.95 million in investments. Funding bodies include VTT Ventures Ltd, the Austrian Lenzing AG, Markku Kaloniemi – a member of the Board of asset management company FIM, Yrjö Neuvo – former CTO of Nokia, Esko Liiri's family-owned investment company Besodos Oy and Timo Soininen – CEO of game development company Small Giant Games.