Junichi Sugahara

Junichi Sugahara, Director and Executive Officer of Spiber.

Established in 2007, Spiber Inc. is a biotech startup based in Yamagata, Japan. Spiber’s revolutionary protein materials have garnered wide attention for their potential to serve as sustainable mainstay industrial materials, due to their low environmental impact, biodegradability, and non-reliance on traditional petroleum resources. Spiber’s co-founders, Kazuhide Sekiyama and Junichi Sugahara, began researching spider silk protein synthesis in 2004 at the Keio University Institute for Advanced Biosciences in Tsuruoka, Yamagata. Their efforts led to the development of Spiber’s proprietary QMONOS® protein material, as well as the successful establishment of the world’s first mass production techniques for its production. In addition to fibers, woven and knit textiles, and non-woven fabrics, Spiber’s molecularly designed protein materials can also be processed into resins, films, gels, and composites. As a key member of the Japanese Cabinet Office’s Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT), Spiber is engaged in the promotion of research and development endeavors with over 40 partner enterprises and research institutes, and is working to create a platform for the development of protein materials which references the latest developments in fields such as information technology, synthetic biology, polymer science, and materials science and engineering. Through its multidisciplinary research and development endeavors, Spiber is comprehensively accumulating vital intellectual property required for the industrialization of protein materials.