Magazine Store

50 Best Companies to Watch 2020

Your innovation partner for textiles: HeiQ, a leader in textile innovation, is formulating new technologies to meet customer needs and outperform the market


In conjunction with an increasing public awareness of infectious diseases, the textile industry and scientists are developing hygienic fabrics by adding various antimicrobial and antiviral compounds. Textile materials, mainly made of natural fibers, supply an excellent medium for microbial growth due to their large surface area and ability to retain moisture. Moreover, the problem of degenerating natural products such as wood, cotton, or wool by microorganisms or insects has been faced by human beings for ages. Therefore, to prevent degradation, unpleasant odor, and potential health risks, textiles are treated with antimicrobial agents.

HeiQ is one such firm that is a pioneer in textile innovation, improving the lives of billions of people by producing the most effective, durable, and high-performance textile effects in the market for protection against viruses and microbes, with increased impetus on health and hygiene. The company’s priority is its customers’ safety. Therefore, the firm aims to introduce new scientific technologies and innovations to its fabric, e.g., adding antiviral protection, activated cooling, odor control, eco-friendly water repellence, UV protection, etc.

The Provenance of HeiQ and legacy

HeiQ was founded in 2005 as a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH). This group’s mother company is a Swiss specialty chemistry company, HeiQ Materials AG, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The core business activity of HeiQ is to conduct co-joint research and development projects with consumer textile products brands such or textile producers for textile finishing to achieve effects that are currently not in the market or not optimized to certain products. The HeiQ Group consists of HeiQ Materials AG and its subsidiaries in North Carolina (HeiQ ChemTex), Shanghai, Taiwan, Portugal, and Australia.

Fighting COVID-19 with fabric: HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 to the rescue

The current Covid-19 pandemic is a huge problem for the textile chemistry industry because it depends on consumption, and that just isn’t happening at the moment. What is in high demand is anything that protects people from the virus. HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is one such product that has been tested effective 99.99% in 30 minutes against SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 causing virus. HeiQ Viroblock is certified as safe and sustainable as all its ingredients are cosmetic grade, bio-based (72% bio-based carbon), and recycled. HeiQ Viroblock FFP2 respirator masks with the antiviral and antimicrobial surface are US FDA approved. It is suitable for all fiber types, from medical nonwovens (e.g., face masks) to fabrics for clothing and home textiles. This makes products a hot commodity, thereby keeping HeiQs’ clients in business.

Mode of Action of HeiQ Viroblock on Covid-19 virus

HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is a combination of HeiQ’s vesicle and silver technology. The HeiQ vesicle technology targets lipid-enveloped viruses, such as coronavirus, and rapidly destructs the virus, while the HeiQ silver technology inhibits the replication of both bacteria and deactivates viruses.

Delivering quality products with exceptional caliber

There are certain textile industry standards, where the fabrics are judged based on a soft handle, wash fastness, durability, colorfastness, to name a few. When it comes to HeiQ’s product, it satisfies the baseline requirements mentioned above while exceeding its performance in each functionality. For instance, the functionality of HeiQ Smart Temp cools fabrics by 2.5° C (4.5°F). Athletes who wear sports apparel with HeiQ Smart Temp show an increased performance because the materials keep them cool and do not overheat. The firm constantly improves its performance, by e.g. keeping materials cool while also cooling at the first touch (HeiQ Cool Touch). HeiQ believes that innovation is an ongoing process.

Commitment to serve the environment

Before launching a new product into a market, HeiQ always ensures that it complies with all applicable regulations. HeiQ is a bluesign systems partner of the earliest hour, a holistic system that stands for sustainable textile processing and manufacturing.

HeiQ aims at a greener, more sustainable chemistry and new processes that help textile mills use less water and achieve more output to provide them with the economic benefit to improve their families’ lives in many ways outside of the textile world.

Galvanizing aspects of HeiQ

  • HeiQ is always looking to further push functional textile development and places a high value on product innovation, ideally cooperating with a major brand partner. Almost 80% of HeiQ’s innovations come from innovation meetings with partners
  • HeiQ has an internal product development team of 12 chemists and achieves its research objectives primarily through a boundless research network with an engaged partnership with researchers at 15 universities and institutes worldwide.
  • More than 40 Ph.D.’s work on HeiQ projects, and is a part of its innovation team
  • The firm ardently believes in “failure is the greatest teacher.” Learning from failure is what shapes the innovation edge of HeiQ. The black belt is near, meaning the final level/ultimate success is nearing

Future intent

HeiQ aims to cement its role as a textile innovation leader, sharing know-how with its lifestyle brand community and its trusted mills, making it better and fairer. E.g., end of April, HeiQ called for a united effort to fight Covid-19 by offering the proprietary antiviral textile technology HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 to competing industry peers in Europe, USA, and Asia and maximize the help to its industry and consumers. HeiQ is a moral company that places the benefit to the world higher than its short-term profit.

The pre-eminent leader behind the majestic growth HeiQ

Carlo Centonze is the Co-founder and also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of HeiQ. He studied biology, environmental sciences, and forest engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and was a co-founder of the climate protection NGO myclimate. In 2005, together with

Dr. Murray Height, Mr. Carlo founded the Swiss textile effects company HeiQ Materials AG. He developed the firm from a two employee company to a 90 employees’ company. Mr. Carlo also serves as chairman of ECSA AG, a 107-year-old Swiss chemical trading family company with 280 employees.

“HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 has been tested effective 99.99% in 30 minutes against SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 causing virus. HeiQ Viroblock FFP2 respirator masks with the antiviral and antimicrobial surface are US FDA approved.”