Ansell recognizes the marketplace need for non-allergenic medical gloves and condoms. Ansell Limited, a global leader in protection solutions, owns a minority share of Yulex. The company also partners with Yulex to development, manufacture and distribute medical gloves, personal protective equipment gloves and condoms made from Guayule Biorubber.
In 2012, Yulex along with consortium partners Cooper Tire, Arizona State University, Cornell University and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture were awarded a $6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative grant from the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy to develop enhanced manufacturing processes for the production of Guayule BioRubber as a biomaterial for tire applications, as well as to evaluate the plant’s residual biomass for biofuel applications.
In January 2013, ENI's Versalis and Yulex partnered to produce Guayule BioRubber for consumer, medical and industrial applications. After an initial focus on consumer and medical specialty markets, the target is to optimize the process to reach the tire industry. The companies plan to launch a Guayule BioRubber production complex in Southern Europe, as part of Yulex's global licensing program.
Yulex has formed a strong relationship with the Gila River Indian Community, which has played a significant role in the cultivation and development of Guayule for many centuries. Therefore, it is only apt that Yulex has located its bioprocessing facility close to the community South of Phoenix.
Tribal Employment and Rights Office, Gila River Indian community (TERO)
TERO partners with Yulex to provide our primary workforce under the TERO regulations where a company resides on the community’s land.
Lone Butte Development Corporation
Lone Butte Corp. is a wholly owned company within the Gila River community, and operates and manages the industrial park where Yulex’s manufacturing facility is located.
In November 2012, Yulex and Patagonia released the first guayule-based wetsuit in the industry. The wetsuit has 30% more stretch, dries faster and keeps you warmer. Traditionally, all wetsuits are petroleum based. Neoprene, by nature of its production, is the most environmentally harmful part the product. Patagonia’s initial approach was to use innovative materials, like wool, that are highly insulating and allowed them to use as little neoprene as possible. But they quickly realized that they needed to create a new material that could be a true alternative to neoprene. After four years of working together, Patagonia and Yulex have co-developed a wetsuit that is 60% guayule (plant) based. The goal is to have the formula eventually be 100% plant based.
The University of Arizona has been a major player in the recent development of guayule as an industrial crop. Agricultural trials for developing better strains of Yulex will be operated at the UA’s Maricopa Agriculture Center. The MAC farm has over 80 acres (32 ha) dedicated to irrigation research. MAC farm personnel have extensive experience with cultivation of semi-arid crops. In June 2013, Yulex provided the University of Arizona with a $3 Million, five-year grant focused on guayule breeding and crop development on a global scale.