IIT Kanpur backed PHOOL.co was awarded the BIRAC Innovator Award 2021 for FLEATHER by The Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu ji and the Hon’ble Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan ji in the presence of Mr. Uday Kotak (President, CII), and Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd) & Secretary, Department of biotechnology, Government of India Dr. Renu Swarup.
Fleather is a cruelty-free bio-alternative to animal leather made from temple flowers and farm waste. Incubated at SIIC, IIT Kanpur, Phool developed a biomaterial that performs almost like leather.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a non-profit set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India that aims to empower the emerging Biotech enterprises to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally-relevant product development needs.
The selection for BIRAC Innovation Award was made by an eminent Jury set up by the Secretary, DBT & Chairperson, BIRAC to offer recognition to the most significant contributors to research-based scientific innovations.
The award was conferred on Phool for their innovation- Fleather, during Global Bio – India 2021, a mega international congregation of biotechnology stakeholders by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, and BIRAC.
SIIC, the sector agnostic incubator of IIT Kanpur, is a leading TBI of India which supports 75 cutting edge innovation driven enterprises. SIIC incubatees such as Endure Air, CD Space Robotics, NOCCARC Robotics, Kritsnam Technologies were recently in the national news for rising to the occasion to help the nation in its hours of crisis.
Fleather is built on the principles of biomimicry, Fleather can be customized for aesthetic expression, flexibility, density, and strength. The process of making Fleather is ultra-sustainable, not only cutting down several traditional downstream leather tanning processes but also helping provide better job opportunities to women from the marginalized sections of society.
While congratulating PHOOL, Prof. Abhay Karandikar, the Director of IIT Kanpur said, “I am happy that PHOOL has been recognized for its work. It is not only a great business but also a great workplace providing livelihood to more than 100 women from the marginalized section of the society”. Prof. Karandikar further stated that he is very happy that many SIIC incubatees including PHOOL, Offgrid Energy Ltd., Bio Craft Innovation Pvt Ltd etc have earned not only national but also international recognitions as well.
“We humans love leather. It delivers status, luxury & comfort. But Leather is a co-product of the livestock industry that produces around 18% of the total earth’s greenhouse emission. FLEATHER can perform like leather while significantly cutting-down the emission and reusing temple & farm waste.” says Ankit Agarwal (Founder, Phool.co)