Chip[s] Board

The Company

Chip[s] Labs, formerly Chip[s] Board, is a sustainable research company focusing on valorising food waste. Utilising by-products created during industrial food Manufacturing, Chip[s] Labs have developed multiple technologies to convert this overwise low-value feedstock into commodity chemicals. 

R&D Focus 

Through the BFTT Programme, Chip[s] Labs worked with Loughborough University to develop next-generation Parblex® biopolymers. Bringing together an experienced, transdisciplinary team, the R&D effort focused on adding bioplasticisers and other bioderived additives into current Parblex® formulations to achieve substantial property improvements for application in the fashion industry. 

The partnership allowed Chip[s] Labs to accelerate R&D at the bench scale, resulting in trial batch samples of Parblex® being sent out to multiple brands for compatibility and quality testing. 

In late 2022 Chip[s] Labs stepped back from the production of materials and focused on other developed technologies that feature earlier in the process. The company is now expanding their technology around the conversion of food waste into commodity chemicals, specifically lactic acid, which will be utilised across a wide range of sectors and industries. 


Black and white portrait of David Grandy

Dr David Grandy

R&D Project Lead

Loughborough University

For the last eight years, David has been with the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre, specialising in thermal analysis and atomic force microscopy. After gaining a PhD in the development AFM-probe based thermal analysis of polymers, he ran his own materials testing consultancy. Prior to that, he worked as a materials and processes engineer in the railway vehicle manufacturing industry and as a corrosion engineer for an electronics and instrumentation company supplying corrosion monitoring systems to the process industries.

black and white portrait of Rowan Minkley

Rowan Minkley

R&D Company Lead

Chip[s] Board Ltd

Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll founded Chip[s] Board whilst studying design at university. They identified an overwhelming need to develop sustainable materials in order to reduce waste being produced by the creative industry. Chip[s] Board’s flagship product is Parblex®, a bio plastic created using by-products from mass food processing. Parblex® is compostable and recyclable at the end of its life and does not compete with food production for land use or rely on petro-chemicals. Chip[s] Board have collaborated with multiple fashion industry brands to prototype products such as eyewear and buttons, with further products and wider industry applications to come.
Black and white portrait of Gary Critchlow

Prof Gary Critchlow

R&D Academic Mentor

Loughborough University

Gary is the Professor of Surface & Interface Science at Loughborough University. He has spent over thirty years developing high performance coatings to address industrial challenges, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, military and space sectors. He has a strong track record of collaborating with both other research providers and industrialists to provide innovative coating solutions in applications such as: hexavalent chromium-free corrosion protection schemes for aerospace and space applications; pretreatments for structural bonding of airframes and armour; ultrahydrophobic coatings for aerofoil surfaces; stealth coatings for windfarms, and; oil-water separation technologies. Gary would be delighted to be a conduit to help transfer some of the technologies developed in these other sectors into the fashion industry. Gary has:

  •  A good understanding of coating processes from the atomic-scale upwards and the role of chemistry and structure in determining properties across widespread applications;
  • Extensive experience of progressing material coating solutions from the laboratory (TRL1) to application in the real world, in high performance applications (TRL 9), and;
  • Ability to put together teams of researchers and industrial partners; such collaborative partnerships are now often required to address the grand societal challenges.