Tokyo, Japan, December 5, 2018 — The Teijin Group announced today that on November 29 it acquired 25,000 shares, or 20 percent of the outstanding shares of Elitac B.V., a startup company that develops textiles and clothing integrated with wearable sensing devices, located in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The shares were purchased through Teijin Aramid B.V., the core company of the Teijin Group’s aramid business, located in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Gerben de Bree, leader of Teijin’s Total Safety Solution Provider (TSSP) platform, was appointed as a member of Elitac’s board on November 29.
The Teijin Group and Elitac aim to co-develop solutions that will strengthen and evolve Teijin as a TSSP of initiatives for safety, security and disaster mitigation. The investment fits into Teijin’s TSSP platform and reflects Teijin’s strong belief in the value of integrating new technologies into apparel for firefighters, police, emergency personnel and other first responders who frequently work under high stress and in hazardous conditions.
“The ability of Elitac to quickly develop ideas from concept to first prototype by working closely with end users convinced us to deepen our relationship by taking an equity stake in the company,” said Ton de Weijer, Director of Solution 2.0 in Teijin Limited’s New Business Division.
“Teijin’s TSSP strategy perfectly fits with our aim to develop wearables for professionals by integrating electronics and textiles. The investment of Teijin enables us to professionalize and scale our wearable development. It is the starting point of the Elitac Wearable Innovation Lab for electronics in textile wearables”, said Merijn Klarenbeek, CEO and co-founder of Elitac.
Elitac is developing innovative smart textiles and clothing integrated with technologies for tactile information, navigation and wearable sensing devices. In 2017, the company developed the Sentaz tactile navigation system through Sentaz B.V., a 50:50 joint venture between Teijin Aramid and Elitac. Sentaz tactile navigation system, translates visual and audio instructions from standard navigation systems into gentle vibrations in the driving seats of first-responder vehicles including fire engines, ambulances and police cars. This reduces the response time and mental pressure of first responder drivers in high-stress environments, allowing them to focus better on the road. Multiple first responder vehicles in The Netherlands are already equipped with Sentaz tactile navigation.
Elitac, located in Utrecht, The Netherlands, develops wearables based on integration of stretchable electronics in textiles, for professional end-users. Elitac enables wearable innovation in professional markets by offering solutions to integrate electronics in textiles. Core competences are the smooth, waterproof and stretchable integration of electronics in textiles and the use of vibrations to bring the sense of touch into human – system interactions. This physical interaction can be used to convey different types of information in an intuitive way as a replacement or in addition to audio and visual information.
About the Teijin Group
Teijin (TSE: 3401) is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the areas of environmental value; safety, security and disaster mitigation; and demographic change and increased health consciousness. Its main fields of operation are high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers & composites, healthcare, films, resin & plastic processing, polyester fibers, products converting and IT. The group has over 170 companies and around 20,000 employees spread out over 20 countries worldwide. It posted consolidated sales of JPY888.6 billion (USD 8.1 billion) and total assets of JPY 1020.7 billion (USD 9.3 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.