Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based product authentication solutions, has signed an agreement with the Eurofins BLC Leather Technology Centre to work on the commercial implementation of the comprehensive leather traceability system they have been working on for the past 18 months.

A research project to develop this system was launched in April 2017. Brand partners for this initiative included Clarks and Puma. BLC and Applied DNA  announced the completion of the project in May 2018, saying at the time that it had been “successful in every respect”. The partners will now continue their collaboration to implement the system, based on Applied DNA’s SigNature T technology, on a commercial level.

Upon making this announcement, Dr James Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA, said: “This agreement with BLC significantly enhances our position for the commercial implementation of our leather tagging system. We already have keen interest in the commercial adoption of our system from several project sponsors. We are targeting a defined goal of having 300,000,000 square feet of DNA-tagged leather under contract over the next five years. BLC’s knowledge in the industry and technical expertise will be invaluable to these efforts.”

For his part, Adam Hughes, managing director of Eurofins BLC Leather Technology, said there was “a strong need” for a system of traceability for semi-processed and finished leather. He added that the system developed alongside Applied DNA is cost-effective and allows for the application of “a unique molecular tag in a way that is impossible to counterfeit”.