Those of us who were around in the 1970’s remember watching The Six Million Dollar Man. In this fictional series, Steve Austin was an astronaut that met with an accident and the government was able to rebuild him to be better, stronger, and faster. If you take a look at what Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is doing, the obscure theme from The Six Million Dollar Man seems to resonate. Kraig Biocraft is taking a naturally occurring element from nature and is on a mission to make it better, stronger, and faster.

Kraig Biocraft, an emerging biotech company, has brought together some of the world’s best researchers to take this technology and collaborate on how to make spider silk’s better and stronger capabilities available commercially. The company is also reaching out to developing minds by launching the Kraig Research Initiative, which is a work program that funds university scientists and laboratories. As part of the program, Kraig Biocraft is given the right to license any intellectual property developed at the university in the genetics and genetic engineering fields. The company hopes to produce significant quantities of spider silk that can be used in a number of commercial and consumer applications.

But who would use spider silk? Because spider silk is strong and lightweight, the aerospace industry is a niche that should have a whole host of applications for the material. Airplanes are constantly under pressure on the ground and in the air, so the inclusion of such a resilient material like spider silk would only benefit the aircraft. Silk can also be used to strengthen cables and components used by the power, water, and communication industries at critical junctions.

The most significant use of the spider silk would be its use in safety equipment used by the military and police departments. Most enforcement agencies use vest and body armor that is reinforced by Kevlar, which can be bulky and heavy. The incorporation of spider silk would significantly reduce the weight of the protective gear, thus lessen the strain on its wearer.

Kraig Biocraft has built a strong intellectual community capable of developing the genetic technology to achieve its goal to produce commercial quantities of spider silk. According to Emerging Growth Research if “the company should achieve its goal … we believe the technology will likely immediately be worth at least several hundred million dollars.”

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