Commercialization Prize Spotlight: RUNNER UP Microbonds

Disrupting the World of Wearable Tech

Materials research and commercialization focus lead to new metal infused innovations

Incorporated in 1996, Microbonds Inc. has pioneered groundbreaking advancements in material science and nanotechnology coatings for various applications.  Initially focused on driving enhancements in the semiconductor packaging and microchip industries with its proprietary Thermo-Plating™ Smart Material, the company has expanded its focus in recent years to include applied materials research in the area of metal-infused wearable technology and textiles.

To succeed, the Microbonds team needed to focus on the development, scale and market activities required to accelerate the commercial adoption of ThermoPlating™ in selected growth and niche markets.

Securing funding and expertise from the REMAP network enabled the Microbonds team to work through this critical period of product development.

Innovation in Turbulent Times

Microbonds’ efforts initially focused on silver infused wearable technology. However, as consumers became increasingly interested in health and safety products during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team quickly pivoted – re-imagining a way to use the ThermoPlating™ to create products that harness the natural cleaning and disinfecting properties of metals to mitigate viral contamination.  This included the development of a copper-based anti-microbial spray and a copper-infused textile technology that infuses every strand with germ-repelling copper for better protection from bacteria-causing microbes. The Canadian government has deemed the technology a critical manufacturing priority for the Health Tech, Clean Tech, Bio Tech and Life Sciences sectors.

Through the REMAP project, Microbonds partnered with Celestica, a leader in design, manufacturing and supply chain solutions for the world’s most innovative companies, to obtain the skills, guidance, and expertise needed during the project’s critical R&D phase.  As a result, Microbonds completed R&D and clinical trials for their new products; gained valuable end-to-end mentorship on product development, commercialization and entering the global marketplace; and, partnered with leading Canadian textile factories for commercialization. These combined efforts enabled Microbonds to transition from workable prototypes to products ready for production.

Poised to Capture Vast Market Demand

With their wearable tech products gaining steady traction in the Canadian market and beyond, Microbonds is currently embarking on a science-based approach to create additional clinically validated applications – including a new line of wearable products for the rapidly growing $4.2 trillion health and wellness market. Through their spinoff company, Apex Biotech, the company is currently developing products including copper infused socks, luxury pillowcases and sleeping masks.

In addition to wearable products, Microbonds also offers a product development platform, X-fusion. The platform enables companies to manufacture products in a matter of days and eliminates set up charges for an unlimited number of SKUs. To top this off, all manufacturing is done in Canada – demonstrating that cost-effective manufacturing is possible in the country.  

Microbonds was selected as one of three finalists to compete for REMAP’s 2023 Commercialization Prize – recognizing projects with the most compelling business case to accelerate innovation and commercialization.  After an inspiring presentation by Robert Lyn, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Microbonds, the team was named a proud runner up of the award – receiving $20,000 in additional funding to assist in the company’s commercialization efforts.

“Microbonds is developing a highly innovative solution that offers health, safety and beauty benefits and satisfies increasing global market demand for wearable tech,” said Loretta Renard, Chief Executive Officer, REMAP.

“REMAP supported our team across every aspect of bringing a product to market, including R&D, recruitment, procurement, sales, intellectual properties, and partnerships” said Lyn. “Their industry-led, forward-thinking approach to project development helped to ensure we covered every base as we moved closer to bringing our advanced wearable technology to market.”