Mirjam Matti Gähwiler — 26.05.2020

Dimpora was founded in 2019 by Anna Beltzung and Mario Stucki as a spin-off from the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich where they both studied. In the course of his chemical engineering studies (Masters, and later, doctoral thesis), Mario Stucki focused on a global problem: an ever increasing number of textiles have to be able to perform ever more functions, but as a rule this can only be achieved through the use of chemicals and solutions that are harmful to the environment.

How can this be done in a more environment-friendly manner? He and Anna Beltzung succeeded in developing and scaling an environment-friendly membrane for outdoor clothing that no longer requires a fluorine compound, but is just as waterproof and breathable as a jacket made with a conventional membrane. Anna Beltzung is also a chemical engineer. In her doctoral thesis she focused on another global problem: microand nanoplastic pollution and its detection.

Anna Beltzung and Mario Stucki
Dimpora Rgb

Anna Beltzung

We want our work to have a major impact.

Thinking in terms of cycles

They are both pursuing the same goals: “We want our work to have a major impact. Our aim is to come up with the best solutions to global problems,” explains Mario Stucki. And Anna Beltzung adds, “I have always been interested in making something out of nothing. We have the possibility to develop new materials that could one day revolutionise the textiles industry.” To accomplish this it is necessary to increasingly think in terms of cycles. Anyone who creates a product today has to ask the question right from the start as to how it can be recycled or reused at the end of its useful life. And they both agree that there is still a great deal to be done, especially in the field of textiles. Their ultimate goal is to develop a fully biodegradable membrane.

Mario Stucki

We greatly appreciate the fact that we are able to work together so smoothly with other companies

Open-minded textiles industry

The open-mindedness that they perceive within Switzerland’s textiles industry, as well as among international brands, is a source of encouragement for them. “We greatly appreciate the fact that we are able to work together so smoothly with other companies,” says Mario Stucki. He points out that many developments are still in the prototype stage, and although they receive enquiries from many companies, financing remains the biggest challenge. “In Switzerland, startups receive generous support with respect to coaching, but finding investors is still the greatest challenge,” he explains.

Dimpora
Dimpora was founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. It received support from Venture Kick (a promotional body) as well as from the Gebert Rüf Foundation and Bridge, a joint programme created by the Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Dimpora gained international attention when it was named runner-up in the 2019 Global Change Award (an innovation challenge initiated by the H & M Foundation).

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