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Cambond wins cleantech place on China mission

Cambonds Dr Xiaobin Zhao and Dr Gareth Roberts
Cambonds Dr Xiaobin Zhao and Dr Gareth Roberts

Cambridge Cleantech Competition winner is eco-glue firm

Cambond has a team heading for China after winning a Cambridge Cleantech competition.

The promising Cambridge-based cleantech firm produces a next-generation environmentally-friendly glue with applications in the furniture, packaging, medical and cosmetics industries.

It is attending the Wujin Green Building Cluster Demonstration Zone after winning the contest, which means the company’s technology will become available to the Chinese market. The zone was established by the Jiangsu province government and is the only such zone to have been approved by the national Chinese government.

The Chinese authorities sponsored the free place for Cambond as an innovative SME building technologies company, as they are keen to implement solutions which will help reduce pollution and address other environmental concerns in the country.

Martin Garratt, CEO of Cambridge Cleantech, said: “This competition has been a great opportunity for our members, expanding Cambridge Cleantech’s international offer. We’re delighted that Cambond has been chosen as the winner and look forward to accompanying them on the trip.”

Cambond director Dr Gareth Roberts said: “We are looking forward to this opportunity. We have a manufacturing base in China and have completed several production trials for making ‘green’ wood panel products. This is an excellent opportunity to drive our scale-up plans and get our products to market.”

Cambond was set up by entrepreneurs Dr Xiaobin Zhao and Dr Roberts in 2014, following Dr Zhao’s invention of a way of making adhesives from biomass, such as algae and co-products of ethanol production. Existing adhesive chemistry, based on phenol-formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde, is derived from oil and has toxicity issues.

The market is worth £34billion annually, with 13 million tonnes of adhesives manufactured each year.

After returning to Cambridge, Garratt told the Camnbridge INdependent: “The building technologies sector is a real strength in the Cambridge region with a critical mass of innovative companies producing a range of products as diverse as no-cement concrete, photovoltaic cells built into double-glazed windows and solar cloth for car ports and other buildings. We were therefore delighted to be approached by the Wujin government, through our member, Cambridge Environment Technology, to visit the new state-of-the-art Green Building Technologies Zone. The building is very impressive and set in a hi-tech park of demonstration buildings which incorporate new energy producing and saving technologies.

“The meetings which took place between Cambond, Cambridge Cleantech and the Wujin Green Building Technologies Zone Management were just an introduction to see if there was scope to take many more Cambridge innovators to China. The talks were very positive and Cambridge Cleantech is considering opening an office at the Park, in association with Cambridge Environment Technology, to help provide a ‘soft business support landing’ for cleantech companies looking to expand into China.”

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