On November 29th, the Teijin Group acquired 25,000 shares, or 20% of the outstanding shares of Elitac B.V., a startup company that develops textiles and garments 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 29th.
The Teijin Group and Elitac aim to jointly develop solutions that will strengthen and evolve Teijin as a TSSP of initiatives for safety, security and disaster mitigation. The investments fit 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.
Ton de Weijer, Director of Solution 2.0 in Teijin Limited’s New Business Division, says, “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.”
Merijn Klarenbeek, CEO and co-founder of Elitac, says, “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.”
Elitac is developing innovative smart textiles and garments 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.
The 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.