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NIRI compeletes £1.2 million relocation

Investing in more equipment, more people and bigger and better-equipped labs for nonwovens development.

1st August 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Leeds, United Kingdom

Medical/Hygiene, Industrial

Continuing a year of exponential growth and investment, Leeds, UK-based NIRI has relocated to new headquarters, with a £1.2 million investment that more than doubles the size of its facilities and includes seven new laboratories with increased R&D capability.

The new Innovation House has been designed in close collaboration with NIRI’s textile engineers and material scientists – a 40-strong team with combined textile science and industrial experience of more than 400 years. The facility has a range of cutting-edge equipment, much of which is bespoke to NIRI. This purpose-built environment is ideal for the creation of the next generation of nonwovens and fibres, ranging from lightweight fabrics to durable materials, tailor-made for specific client applications. 

“We’ve invested in more equipment, more people and bigger and better-equipped labs,” said Chris Fowler, NIRI Group founder. “This move will help us to deliver our three-year strategy for growth, with the  expansion of our functional chemistry, formulation and polymer engineering capability, the recruitment of 20 additional technical textile scientists, the acquisition of complimentary operations and the expansion of our US and EU presence. Having successfully proven our model we will soon be seeking the right investment partner to accelerate our growth and deliver positive impact to more organisations across the globe.”

Innovation House, the new home of NIRI. © NIRI

Guided by the vision of founders Fowler and Professor Stephen Russell, now group technical director, over the last 17 years, NIRI has established itself as a global leader in sustainable innovation. It has a proven track record of transforming raw materials into fully functional prototypes, ready to be scaled up and developed for commercial release across consumer and industrial sectors.

“In today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing world, unprecedented levels of innovation are required to develop the next generation of textile products and processes,” said NIRI CEO Matthew Tipper. “Our team applies technical excellence with commercial understanding to unlock ideas and translate them into commercially viable products. Having completed over 950 projects for over 400 clients across the whole of the textile supply chain, our growth is mirrored by the value and success that we provide.”

Unveiling a plaque to commemorate the opening of Innovation House, Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, spoke of the value nonwovens innovation has for society as a whole.

“Creating products that are genuinely biodegradable and will not add to the problems of the planet will help us to solve climate change – you couldn’t be doing a more important job,” he said.

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