MIT and Harvard Graduates to win the HYPE’s Competition on Sports Innovation with ASICS and WeWork

The winner to receive the grand prize: a trip to the ASICS Institute of Sports Science in Japan, for a mentorship program with the brand’s top innovators.

The HYPE Foundation, a platform that connects and invests in sports innovation, in partnership with ASICS and WeWork, is proud to announce that Humon has won the GLOBAL SPORTS INNOVATION (SPIN) COMPETITION that took place in Boston on October 12, 2017. The competition attracted over 100 sports and tech brand leaders, investors and start-ups. Humon was selected from a group of 10 finalists from the USA, Australia, Croatia and Switzerland, that presented to a panel of esteemed judges at the event.

The finalists pitched their products to a jury of leaders from across the sports, fitness, technology and business community, including Head of jury, Gerard Klein, GM Global Performance Running Footwear at ASICS, Shinji Senda, GM Easy Running & Training Footwear, ASICS, Tsuyoshi Nishiwaki, Head of R&D and ISS (Institute of Sport Science) at ASICS, Dan Smith, CEO Runkeeper and GM ASICS Digital, Alexis Miller – Director, Northeast America at WeWork, And leaders from Spalding, Babson College, Boston University and HYPE Foundation.

Winning startup “Humon” with the jury panel, among them leaders from ASICS, WeWork and HYPE Foundation

The jurors selected Boston based start-up Humon, a wearable targeted towards endurance athletes, as the winner of the global competition. The concept was born while the founder studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The brand was recognized for their product, the Humon Hex, that helps athletes train smarter by monitoring the oxygen levels in their muscles throughout an activity. The device is able to provide both real-time feedback and post-workout analytics using AI. The biometric information is collected through a sensor attached to the athlete’s quad muscle. The measurements taken allow the device to provide personalized insights to guide warm-ups, indicate limits, and properly recover to optimize an athlete’s training.

“We’re so thrilled by this great opportunity,” said Alessandro Babini, co-founder of Humon. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with ASICS and learning from one of the top research and development teams in the industry.”

The 2nd place went to Nix which developed a wearable hydration sensor founded by Harvard graduate, and the 3rd place was given to LUNA WEAR, illuminating wearable technology.

The two day event took place on the 11th-12th October 2017 and was hosted by Babson College and WeWork Mass Ave. In addition to the Global SPIN Final Competition, the event included a student ideation hackathon where the participants were challenged to develop solutions to emerging challenges in the sports and fitness sector.

“We are excited that the Global Sports Innovation Competition together with HYPE Foundation challenged the next generation of innovators to address a real issue faced by our industry with the decline in sports participation,” said Paul Miles,  General Manager Global Marketing at ASICS.  “As a brand, innovation is part of our DNA and this competition is the ideal way to mark a new milestone for ASICS as we open our new product creation lab in Boston.”

HYPE Foundation is the largest sports innovation ecosystem with over 26,000 leaders and key decision makers in the field of sports, including sports and tech global brands, academia, investors and startups. HYPE is the host for global competitions, teaming up with Google, ASICS, Microsoft, and Sky Sports among others. In 2017 HYPE Foundation conducted several Sports Innovation (SPIN) Final competitions alongside the UEFA Champions League Final, NFL Draft and the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade. HYPE Foundation is the impact division of MG Equity partners investment house, operating since 2003.

Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.


ITA Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg gGmbH wins f-cell award 2017

Important achievement in the area of fuel cells for young textile institute ITA in Augsburg, Germany

ITA Augsburg, the Institut für Textiltechnik (the Institute for Textile Technology) Augsburg gGmbH was bestowed with the f-cell award 2017 in the category Research & Development for its contribution “textile carbon fibre electrodes for microbial fuel cells (TexKoMBZ)”.

MFC, the Microbial Fuel Cell

Beside the known fuel cells which are used as an alternative drive system for automobiles there is a new and very interesting application of the technology in the environmental area. The MFC contains special microorganisms which are able to produce electrical energy out of organic material through their metabolism (figure 1).

“This project opens up a completely new field of application”, says Secretary of Environment Franz Untersteller, “namely to sustainable clean waste water and to generate electrical energy at the same time”.

A prime example is the paper manufacturing industry which invests large amounts of energy to clean waste water every year. The usage of the MFC can save up to 50 % of the energy costs which is shown by a study of the “Papiertechnische Stiftung”.

Carbon electrode

The main tasks of the electrode material is to provide as much growth area as possible and to fill out the reaction volume to a maximum degree with the productive microorganisms. Those are the aims of the research project TexKoMBZ (Nr. 031B0087A) which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the idea contest “new products for the bio- economy”.

Like no other carbon based material for electrodes textile surfaces can be customized to match the needs of the MFC.

Left to right: Secretary of Environment Franz Untersteller, Liesa Pötschke (Institute of Applied Microbiology RWTH Aachen) Georg Stegschuster (ITA Augsburg)

Contribution of the Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg

ITA Augsburg is responsible within the project for development and production of the 3D-electrode and for the improvement of the electric discharge.

The evaluation of different types of weaving and production parameters as well as a large variety of electrode topographies in model reactors is building the foundation for the subsequent usage of up scaled electrodes in a MFC reactor.

The outcome of the project will be a material that can be manufactured repeatedly and precisely concerning the porosity, the mechanical stability and flexibility as well as the electrical characteristics.

“We consider it a major success for the ITA Augsburg, which was founded two years ago, to be honoured with this prestigious award for one of the very first projects”, said Professor Stefan Schlichter (Head of ITA Augsburg).

f-cell award 2017

The f-cell award donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg aims to acknowledge outstanding developments in one of the most interesting technologies of our time as well as to stimulate further innovations. The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector together with the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation award the prize for the 17th time.

Project leader Liesa Pötschke (Institute of Applied Microbiology of RWTH Aachen) and Georg Stegschuster (Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg gGmbH) were honored during the “Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition“ in Stuttgart by Secretary Franz Untersteller.

The Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg gGmbH ( was founded 2014 as extramural research institute in Bavaria, Germany. It deals with the application orientated research and development of fibre-based materials and production processes. The research focus of ITA Augsburg consists in the recycling of carbon composites, in the nonwovens technology and in the application of thermoplastic composites, especially in hybrid component structures.

The ITA Augsburg is a subsidiary of the ITA Technologietransfer GmbH in Aachen, Germany and cooperates closely with the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University (, one of the biggest institutes of the faculty of mechanical engineering of RWTH Aachen University.

ITA Augsburg cooperates closely with the top research composite cluster in the region of Augsburg, Germany. Prof Stefan Schlichter holds a professorship for Mechanical Engineering in the Institute of Materials Ressource Management (MRM) since winter term 2015/16.


WACKER awarded researchers for development of High-Temperature-Resistant Silicone Fluids

On October 19, 2017, Wacker Chemie AG presented the “Alexander Wacker Innovation Award” to Erich Schaffer, Dr Steffen Dörrich, Dr  Florian Hoffmann and Dr Harald Voit for their research into the behaviour of silicones at high temperatures. The four specialists developed silicone fluids with resistance to high temperatures as part of their work at the Group’s in-house research center, the “Consortium für elektrochemische Industrie.” The first product, HELISOL®, can be heated up to 425 degrees Celsius, while its viscosity remains low even at -40 degrees Celsius. Used in solar thermal power plants, the fluid enables efficiency levels that are impossible to achieve with conventional heat-transfer media. This year, the EUR 10000 innovation award – now in its twelfth year at WACKER – focused on basic research.


The Alexander Wacker Innovation Award Ceremony: WACKER Executive Board members Dr Tobias Ohler and Dr. Rudolf Staudigl (1st and 2nd from left) as well as Dr Christian Hartel and Auguste Willems (1st and 2nd from right) with this year’s winners of the “Alexander Wacker Innovation Award”: Dr Harald Voit, Dr Steffen Dörrich, Erich Schaffer und Dr Florian Hoffmann (from left to right)

Given the brand name HELISOL®, the first product to emerge as a result of this research activity is used as a heat-transfer medium in concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. Here, reflecting parabolic troughs concentrate sunlight onto pipes filled with a heat-transfer medium. The level of efficiency of such CSP plants primarily depends on this heat-transfer medium’s heat resistance.

HELISOL® can withstand warmer – by some 30 degrees – operating temperatures than existing standard products. At the same time, the silicone fluid’s freezing point of -55 degrees Celsius is far lower than that of conventional heat-transfer media. This renders trace heating, which is usually required, unnecessary and thus considerably reduces energy consumption. As a result, the efficiency of CSP plants increases, in turn making the production of energy significantly cheaper. More than 2000 metric tons of HELISOL®  have already been used in an industrial CSP plant.

“With our hyper-pure polysilicon, we have become a key player in the production of clean solar energy. The research honoured today is helping us expand our product portfolio in the field of sustainable energy generation and, at the same time, support efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Auguste Willems, Wacker Chemie AG Executive Board member, who presented the award to the team of developers at the Group’s annual R&D symposium in Burghausen (Germany). This year marked the event’s 45th anniversary.

Since 2005, the Munich-based chemical company has honoured employees’ outstanding R&D work at its annual research symposium. Named after the company’s founder, the EUR 10000 “Alexander Wacker Innovation Award” is bestowed alternately in the categories of product innovation, process innovation and basic research.


Rieter Awards 2017 bestowed

From August 28 to September 2,  2017, Rieter Award Week 2017 was held at the Rieter Headquarters in Winterthur (Switzerland). For around three decades, the Rieter Award has been a firm component of the company’s program to encourage its trainees – and is an institution in the textile industry. This year, there were four new prize winners. The Rieter Award Winners’ Club now has 177 members

The Rieter judges were totally convinced by the in-depth scientific work of this year’s award winners on the subjects of yarn and surface technology, textile materials, and digitization. The four prize winners from China, Pakistan, Turkey, and the US are:

  • Mengru Li, Wuhan Textile University, China
  • Salman Ahmad, National Textile University, Pakistan
  • Dogukan Vanlioglu, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey
  • Matthew James Coats, North Carolina State University, US


The Rieter Award prize winners 2017 (from the left): Salman Ahmad (Pakistan), Mengru Li (China), and Matthew James Coats (US). Not in the photo: Dogukan Vanlioglu (Turkey)

Rieter congratulates the winners and is pleased with the talented textile trainees. The award included an invitation to visit Rieter Headquarters, which this year’s Turkish prize winner, Dogukan Vanlioglu, was unable to accept. For a week, the three visiting prize winners not only got to know Rieter better, but also gained interesting insights into Switzerland. All the winners received their respective awards at a ceremony held at the university in their home country.


Cheerful prize winners on a visit to the cheese-making factory in Stein in the Canton of Appenzell (from the left): Salman Ahmad, Mengru Li), and Matthew James Coats

The Rieter Award promotes young talent

The Rieter Award has been given to students and young trainees every year since 1989. With the prize, Rieter promotes young talents and thus also supports universities and institutes in their efforts to win outstanding new recruits for textile training. The Rieter Award winners are selected globally from students and young trainees in the textile technology industry who are distinguished by their sound work and great commitment.


Rieter is the world’s leading supplier of systems for short-staple fiber spinning. Based in Winterthur (Switzerland), the company develops and manufactures machinery, systems and components used to convert natural and manmade fibres and their blends into yarns. Rieter is the only provider worldwide that covers both processes for spinning preparation and all four open-end spinning processes on the market. With 18 manufacturing locations in ten countries, the company employs a global workforce of some 5 230, about 20% of whom are based in Switzerland.