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Innovative materials for civil engineering and product development II

Interview with Richard Hurding, Omodo GmbH

Hemp guitar / Zelfo Technology

Hemp guitar / Zelfo Technology

“Building materials made of renewable raw materials” is a subject that concerns numerous companies, several of them exhibitors of Material Vision 2011. Today, we would like to introduce Omodo as representative of them all. Its development is called Zelfo Technology and is made 100 % of renewable raw materials, which means it is not only innovative but also sustainable.

Richard Hurding, Omodo GmbH, explains why the working relationship between design and industry was particularly important in the development of this product:

MV: You presented your product “Zelfo technology” at Material Vision 2011. What happened afterwards? Which contacts resulted from your presentation at Material Vision?

RH: “Our stand was popular with a wide spectrum of visitors, for example, designers, manufacturers, material developers, institutes etc. We came away with a bag full of business cards some of which we are still working through! Some leads are obvious long shots, and others we wanted to pick up straight away. The priority leads mostly had to do with manufacturing collaborations as our target for the show was to find partners that can get our process technology to market at the earliest opportunity. So far we have signed some significant NDA's with a view to future commercialisation, so this is indeed positive for us. “

MV: You are a designer, who by inventing a completely new and innovative production process, have developed a new sustainable fibre material. What role did the designer’s perspective play in this innovation process?

RH: „I came to Zelfo Material because I could see the design potential for the interior and architectural world. When you can see the market, because most importantly you are in it, then this gives extra drive to bringing a process or idea into reality. This ability to sense that a something that is emerging has found its time makes designers a kind of visionary force and validates their inclusion in the mid to late stages of a product or material development process. Scientists are also in my opinion 'creatives' but their "1% inspiration" moment tends to come quite early on and the "99% perspiration" period tends to make them focus on making the one idea they had a reality. The designer can help them out of the single solution delivery channel and inspire not only them but the companies they work for to think laterally. The "open innovation system" also works in a similar fashion. “

You will find more innovation materials for civil engineering and product development on the product pages of Material Vision 2011.