Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 58

In March of 2020, OROS received a United States Air Force grant as part of their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative. Through the SBIR grant, the OROS team began working with the Air Force to determine how they could leverage Solarcore to create ultra-lightweight, long-range flight suits. 

Using the same technology, they also began working with the Department of Defense to develop energy-efficient tactical shelters.

Not only is the federal government noticing OROS’ innovation, but so are investors. In June, OROS announced $14.5 million in Series A funding to support the launch of a new, lightweight insulated material in 2022. The material, which will debut in a new performance apparel collection, incorporates a suite of NASA patents and will be exclusive to NASA.

If new technology wasn’t cool enough, OROS is also using this funding to invest in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Boston, Massachusetts. Funds will allow the company to convert recycled fiber into a novel thermal performance fiber, bringing to life a collection of garments using 3D engineered knitting. The domestic manufacturing line will also enable OROS to customize machinery, equipment, and engineering processes.

“We want to transform the cold-weather apparel market,” said Markesbery. “We are creating products that can keep people warm in sub-freezing weather, without the bulk and discomfort of classic outerwear. We envision a world where a lightweight sweater can keep people just as warm as a full-sized snowboarding jacket.”

Transforming the market is just the tip of the iceberg. In the future, OROS will extend its reach into more and more industries, like defense, as brands catch the OROS-fever.

LEATHERMAN

Since its founding by Tim Leatherman in 1983, Leatherman, a Portland-based multi-tool and knife company, has been synonymous with innovation. From the original PST (Pocket Survival Tool) to the

“We want to transform the cold-weather apparel market."