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2 January 2015

12 spin-outs of Christmas: Slips Technologies

Harvard spin-out slips into our one to watch list.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Slips Technologies

Institution: Harvard University

Sector: Surface Coating


Spinning out from Harvard in October, Slips Technologies is commercialising a coating that is able to repel almost any type of liquid and solid.

Based on research at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the company was spun out by the university’s Office of Technology Development. Its name stems from its eponymous technology, an acronym for slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces.

Slips has been developed as a platform for an array of applications, and was invented by Joanna Aizenberg, professor of materials science at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute. Aizenberg’s co-inventors are Philseok Kim, a senior research scientist at the institute, and Tak–Sing Wong, a former post-doctoral fellow at the institute.

The technology can be applied to metals, plastics, optics, textiles and ceramics and essentially makes them self-cleaning as it repels almost any liquid and solid – including rain, dust and bacteria – it comes into contact with. It has a wide range of potential applications, including medical, energy, packaging, consumer, automotive, and environmental sectors.

At launch, the company attracted $3m for its series A, half of which came from chemical company BASF’s venture arm. Given the scope of possible deployments, it is likely that the series A is just the start for Slips, with more potential funding arriving in 2015.

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