The innovation award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2022” will be granted to the innovative cellulose fibre industry for the development of new technologies and applications.

Here are the six nominees!


Carbon Fibres from Wood – German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (Germany)

The HighPerCellCarbon® technology is a sustainable and alternative process for the production of carbon fibres made from wood. The technology starts with wet spinning of cellulosic fibres using ionic liquids (IL) as direct solvent in an environmentally friendly, closed loop filament spinning process (HighPerCell® technology). These filaments are directly converted into carbon fibres by a low-pressure stabilisation process, followed by a suitable carbonisation process. No exhaust fumes or toxic by-products are formed during the whole process. Furthermore, the approach allows a complete recycling of solvent and precursor fibres, creating a unique and environmentally friendly process. Carbon fibres are used in many lightweight applications and the fibres are a sustainable alternative to fossil-based ones.

Fibers365, Truly Carbon-Negative Virgin Fibres from Straw - Fibers365 (Germany)

Fibers365 are the first carbon-negative virgin straw fibres on the market. The Fibers365 concept is based on a unique, state of the art process to provide functional, carbon negative, and competitive non-wood biomass products such as virgin fibres for paper, packaging and textile purposes as well as high value process energy, biopolymer and fertilizer side streams. The products are extracted from the stems of annual food plants such as straw by a chemical-free, regional, farm level steam explosion pulping technology, allowing an easy separation of the fibres from sugars, lignin, organic acid and minerals. In the case of annual plants, CO2 emissions are recaptured within 12 months from their production date, offering “instant”, yearly compensation of corresponding emissions.

Iroony® Hemp and Flax Cellulose – RBX Créations (France)

Iroony® is a branded cellulose made by RBX Créations from hemp. This resistant hemp plant grows quickly within in a few months, massively captures carbon and displays a high content of cellulose. The biomass is directly collected from French farmers who cultivate without chemicals or irrigation, in extended rotation cycles, contributing to soil regeneration and biodiversity. For a diversified supply, the hemp can be combined with organically-grown flax.
Through its patented process, RBX Créations extracts high-purity cellulose, perfectly suitable for spinning technologies such as HighPerCell® of DITF research centre. The resulting fibres display versatile properties of fineness, tenacity and stretch, for applications like clothing or technical textiles. Iroony® combines low impact, trackability and performance.

SPINNOVA, Sustainable Textile Fibre without Harmful Chemicals – Spinnova (Finland)

Spinnova’s innovative technology enables production of sustainable textile fibres in a mechanical process, without dissolving or any harmful chemicals. The process involves use of paper-grade pulp and mechanical refining to turn pulp into microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). The fibre suspension consisting of MFC is extruded to form textile fibre, without regeneration processes. The Spinnova process does not generate any side waste, and the environmental footprint of SPINNOVA® including 65 % less CO2 emissions and 99 % less water compared to cotton production. Spinnova’s solution is also scalable: Spinnova targets to reach 1 million tonnes annual production capacity in the next 10 to 12 years.

Sustainable Menstruation Panties: Application-driven Fibre Functionalisation – Kelheim Fibres (Germany)

Kelheim’s plant-based and biodegradable fibres contribute significantly to a sustainable future in the field of reusable hygiene textiles. Through innovative functionalisation they are specifically adjusted to the requirements of the single layers and thereby reach a performance comparable to that of synthetic fibres. A unique duality in fibre technology is created: sustainably manufactured cellulosic fibres that allow for high wearing comfort and reusability with extraordinary, durable performance. Fibre concepts comprise Celliant® Viscose, an in-fibre infrared solution and Danufil® Fibres in the top sheet, Galaxy, a trilobal fibre for the ADL, Bramante, a hollow viscose fibre, in the absorbing core and a water repellent woven fabric, a biodegradable PLA film or a sustainable coating as a back sheet.

TENCEL™ branded Lyocell Fibre made of Orange and Wood Pulp – Orange Fiber (Italy)

Orange Fiber is the world's first company to produce a sustainable textile fibre from a patented process for the extraction of cellulose to be spun from citrus juice leftovers, which are more than 1 million tonnes a year just in Italy. The result of our partnership with Lenzing Group, leading global producer of wood-based specialty fibres, is the first ever TENCEL™ branded lyocell fibre made of orange and wood pulp. A novel cellulosic fibre to further inspire sustainability across the value chain and push the boundaries of innovation. This fibre, part of the TENCEL™ Limited Edition initiative, is characterized by soft appeal and high moisture absorbance and has already obtained the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certificate and is undergoing a diverse set of other sustainability assessments.


First stage: From now until 15 November 2021

Producers and inventors of innovative technologies and applications are invited to hand in a completed application form (already closed!) and a leaflet or a two-page PDF about the product in English. Please provide us with at least two images in print quality (300 dpi) that we may use for promotional purposes (e.g. on the website, in press communications, in the conference journal or in mailings). Please be sure to include metadata for each image. Metadata must include at least:
Short description, copyright holder, owner of the rights of use and licence note.
The documents should explain the particular aspects of the innovation and when it was launched on the market. It is also necessary to submit a sample of the product (or a small material sample if the product is too unhandy).

Delivery address and email contact: nova-Institut GmbH, Verena Bauchmueller, Chemiepark Knapsack, Gebaeude 0611, Industriestraße 300, 50354 Huerth, Germany
Deadline for delivery: 15 December 2021

Second stage: Mid of November 2021

A jury consisting of representatives of the nova-Institute, the advisory board and sponsors of the conference will nominate the outstanding “Top 6” applicants prior to the conference.
After the jury has selected the “Top 6” candidates among the applicants, their application documents will be made available for download at the conference website to provide our audience and other interested parties a first glimpse of these innovations.

Third stage: At the conference (2 February 2022)

In a short 10-minute presentation, each of the six companies will introduce their innovation on the first day of the conference (2 February 2022). The Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2022 Award will be voted for by conference delegates on 2 February and awarded during the conference dinner in the evening.
In addition, the “Top 6” will present their innovations in a shared exhibition space provided by the nova-Institute during the whole of the conference. Furthermore, there is the option to book your own exhibition space. This will be published soon.

All winners and their innovations will be highlighted in the subsequent media coverage. Each “Top 6” candidate will get one free 2-day ticket and further tickets at a discount rate.

Download: Overview of the past innovation award winners (PDF).