+49 (0) 421 9600-10
17 June 2020 - Anne-Katrin Wehrmann

Copper tape against coronavirus

Success stories
How a Bremen company’s invention is set to keep viruses at bay

Milan Christiansen and Robert Erichsen of Bremen company Statex holding a roll of copper fleece.
Milan Christiansen and Robert Erichsen of Bremen company Statex holding a roll of copper fleece. © WFB/Jörg Sarbach

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the main aim of Robert Erichsen, CEO of Bremen company Statex, was to provide his employees with the best possible protection against the virus. His efforts eventually resulted in a product that is now being sold around the world: a self-adhesive copper-coated fleece on which viruses and bacteria are unable to survive for long. Erichsen decided to install his new copper tape on door handles, toilet flushes and on the switches of coffee makers – anywhere that comes into regular contact with the skin – throughout his company, which produces metallised textiles. To establish its effectiveness, he commissioned several laboratory tests. “They showed that the copper in our tape rendered 99.98 per cent of coronavirus present inactive within a few minutes so it was no longer infectious,” he reports.

Copper is a disinfectant

Even in ancient times, people knew that copper had disinfectant properties. More recently, hospitals have begun to take advantage of the metal’s positive impact on hygiene by fitting copper door handles to reduce the number of germs. “The more copper ions are released, the quicker viruses and bacteria become inactive,” Erichsen explains. “Since we already had a number of copper-coated textiles in our product range anyway, we just needed to look for a variant that would work particularly well in this context.” The ‘winner’ of this internal search was a copper-coated polyamide fleece that – in a direct comparison – releases seven times more ions than metallic copper.

The Statex boss and his team attached adhesive film to this textile, cut it to the required size and fitted the resulting pieces to handles and buttons around the company. Visitors soon began to notice the new copper tape. Erichsen recognised that there was demand outside the company and began to produce the tape for sale. “I’m not trying to profit from the crisis,” he emphasises. “But if we can do our bit to potentially limit the spread of viruses and bacteria then we regard it as our duty.”

Product is additional hygiene measure

So far it hasn’t been scientifically established exactly how coronavirus is spread, and what role the touching of surfaces might play in this. But studies in the US suggest that the virus can survive for several days on certain materials. “We see our copper tape as an additional element that supports the hygiene measures being implemented by businesses and public organisations,” says the 31-year-old CEO. “And that in turn increases the safety of employees and customers, and their families.” That aspect is very important to Erichsen, who took charge of the company at the start of 2020, the third generation of his family to do so.

Statex has invented a tape that can be attached to door handles or other surfaces to protect against viruses.
Statex has invented a tape that can be attached to door handles or other surfaces to protect against viruses. © WFB/Jörg Sarbach

Global market leader in silver-coated textiles

Founded in 1978 by his grandfather, Statex originally specialised in anti-static carpets. These days the company describes itself as the global market leader in silver-coated fabrics and also develops new metallised yarns and finished goods. Its products are used in the space and aeronautics industries and in the car industry, for example to shield against electromagnetic radiation. There are also medical applications, with antiviral, antibacterial and fungicidal materials being used in the production of plasters and dressings for over 20 years. “We are the only company able to apply a variety of alloys and laminations of different metals on textiles,” Erichsen says.

Employees are the secret to success

He doesn’t want to discuss details of the production process, and his company hasn’t registered any patents – too much danger of competitors getting hold of crucial features. “Our employees are our real secret,” he explains. “If we were to lose them then everything here would grind to a halt – and no competitive advantage could save us.” That is why the CEO called a crisis meeting as soon as the first cases of coronavirus emerged in Italy back in February. In addition to safeguarding the supply chain, the other main topic was the health of the employees.

A mobile solution for now and for later

The copper tape isn’t just intended for use during the coronavirus period. “Irrespective of the current situation, we see it as a preventative measure for the long term, because it also deactivates flu and gastro-intestinal viruses, as well as other pathogens that can be transmitted via surfaces and handles,” he says. From supermarkets to schools and public transport – the tape is a mobile solution that can be installed practically anywhere people come into contact with germs. The Statex boss is certain that the coronavirus pandemic is going to change people’s attitudes permanently. “Hygiene awareness continues to increase. Even when this crisis is over there will still be demand for additional safeguards.”


Andreas Gerber

acquisition and projects

Team leader Bremeninvest

P +49 (0) 421 9600-123


Success stories
2 July 2020
Publicly listed companies from Bremen

At the end of May 2020, JDE Peets followed in the footsteps of other successful businesses from Bremen and made its initial public offering. We have put together a brief introduction to exchange-traded companies from the region and their business models.

Success stories
9 June 2020
How industry and the economy are benefiting from trade between Taiwan and Germany

Bremen and Taiwan share a long-standing friendship. The Hanseatic city has been in close contact with the Asian island for more than 30 years. New opportunities in Far Eastern markets are opening up for Bremen-based companies despite the coronavirus crisis.

Success stories
27 February 2020
Co-working in Überseestadt

Co-working spaces are very much in vogue. Especially in large cities, more and more people are renting space in modern office communities - for hours, days or months. We take a look at the co-working spaces in Überseestadt and answer key questions: How much is the rent? What do I get in return? And of course: Where do I get my coffee?

Success stories
16 January 2020
50 years of the Bremen Fibre Institute

Fibre composites have become a permanent fixture in everyday life. The Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE) has been working on these materials for five decades, and has gained another strong partner this year in the form of the ECOMAT research centre.

Success stories
28 November 2019
Eight products from Bremen that nobody has heard of, but everyone uses

Products made in Bremen can be found in many everyday objects, and most of us are likely to come into contact with one or more on a daily basis. Read on to find out what they are.

Success stories
30 October 2019
Combating climate change with electricity storage from Bremen

Storage batteries are an increasingly popular way of making energy generated by PV systems available around the clock. That is good for the environment and helps to keep costs down. Storage battery manufacturer Powertrust is looking to tried and trusted technology and giving it a new lease of life.

Success stories
4 September 2019
Measure, test, inspect – precision technology ‘made in Bremen’

Not many people could name a manufacturer of metrology and testing equipment, but without their products we would not have space probes, aircraft or medical equipment. And Bremen is home to a whole host of these specialist companies.

Success stories
11 June 2019
Linhorn: Trust but verify

Enquiry, quote, order, delivery, payment – that’s the standard procedure the world over, but it doesn’t always run smoothly if the business links involved span thousands of miles. So in 2015, the Chinese Linhorn Group opened its only European branch in Bremen in order to establish better contacts with its suppliers.

Investing in Bremen
28 May 2019
Twelve hidden champions from Bremen

Companies that are largely unknown but are market leaders in their field – those are hidden champions. Which of these twelve hidden champions from Bremen do you know?

Success stories
18 April 2019
Generating your own energy transition

In 2019, many people are seeing their energy costs rising yet again. Intelligent energy solutions that use solar panels and storage batteries can save quite a bit on electricity. And ADLER Solar from Bremen know how.

Success stories
26 February 2019
Four entrepreneurs talk about what attracted them to Bremen

A company founder lives for his or her idea – no distance is too far and no obstacle too high. Four foreign entrepreneurs in Bremen share their passion for their vision.

Success stories
20 February 2019
Bremeninvest is highly appreciated in Turkey

Since 2011, economic relations with Turkish partners have been strengthened through the Bremeninvest office in Izmir. Kolja Umland, Project Manager for International Settlements and Erol Tüfekҫi, Director of the Bremeninvest Office in Izmir, report on the current situation.

Success stories
5 February 2019
Flyline – two decades of success in Bremen

Bremen-based Flyline can look back on two decades of success and expansion. The British Airways (BA) subsidiary began as a call centre with a 30-strong workforce. Today, Flyline employs around 400 people at Bremen airport.

Success stories
17 January 2019
A successful future based on attention to detail

Orthopaedic shoe manufacturers Indorf Orthopädie-Schuhtechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Bremerhaven successfully combine traditional products and processes with the latest advances in 3D printing.

Success stories
11 December 2018
When precisely isn’t quite precise enough

Extreme precision is the norm at Eickworth Modellbau. Major automotive companies and aerospace manufacturers rely on the services of this Bremen company whenever something needs to be accurate down to a hundredth of a millimetre.

Success stories
13 November 2018
Bremen is one of Germany’s leading industrial hubs

Bremen is Germany’s sixth-largest industrial hub in terms of revenue. Whether the sector is aerospace, food, automotive, shipping or steel production, Bremen has always been a major player.

1 November 2018
The man with an eye for AI

Esteban Bayro-Kaiser has big plans for his start-up, WearHealth. And he has no doubt that Bremen can become a leading hub for artificial intelligence technology. But what made this globetrotter choose Bremen?

Investing in Bremen
16 October 2018
The Bremen property market is booming

Bremen is expanding. Several construction projects will reshape the city centre. The 2018 Bremen property market report – an overview of office, logistics and retail properties, and of investment market trends – confirms that the city is an attractive location for investors and developers.

Success stories
6 September 2018
Safety first: sensor expertise in Bremen

We don’t normally get to see Littelfuse’s products. And yet there’s hardly any electronic device that doesn’t require components from this global market leader. The European headquarters of the US firm are located in Bremen. And they’re far more than just a sales office.

Success stories
9 August 2018
“I fell in love with Bremen as soon as I saw it”

It was a cold February evening when Paramjit Kohli first came to Bremen from India – and he loved it immediately. Read on to find out why he founded a company here and what lessons he has learned over the past year.

Investing in Bremen
7 August 2018
Bicycles made in Bremen – Velo Lab moves to a bigger site

Stathis Stasinopoulos built his first bike so that he could get to and from work in Athens more easily. At the time, he could not have imagined that his idea would see him set up his own business in Bremen. We visited the entrepreneurial engineer in his new workshop in the north of Bremen.

Food and beverage
2 August 2018
The capital of fish fingers

Fish fingers have been made in Bremerhaven for almost 60 years. Over this period, they have withstood all food trends and are more popular today than ever before. On average, each German consumer eats 24 of them a year. And they were probably made in Bremerhaven, the fish finger capital.

22 May 2018
Artificial intelligence made in Bremen

Artificial intelligence isn’t just a matter of computer programming. It’s a challenging question: how can a robot successfully deal with real, unpredictable surroundings? For 30 years, solutions to this problem have been developed at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). This Bremen-based facility has been so successful that its employees are now founding their own company.

Success stories
17 May 2018
Team Beverage moves headquarters to Bremen

In April 2018, Team Beverage AG moved its headquarters from Wildeshausen in Lower Saxony to Bremen. The company provides services to the drinks industry in wholesale, retail and the catering and convenience sectors. Now, its success story is set to continue at Bremen Airport-Stadt with the relocation of its head office and 90 or so employees.

Success stories
3 May 2018
New life for old batteries

Batteries are indispensable in our day-to-day life. But when they run out of energy, they become an environmental challenge. As the global leader in the recycling of household batteries, Bremerhaven-based company Redux GmbH is ready to take on this challenge. What’s more, the firm has now developed a method to deal with lithium-ion batteries.

Success stories
3 April 2018
Recycling containers that stand out from the crowd

Whenever you need to dispose of old clothes, shoes or electronic waste, you will often throw them into a recycling container. Most people have no idea that a large number of these containers are made by Bremen-based company JO-BA, which has established itself as a brand across Europe. Now the company has its sights set on greater sustainability.

Success stories
8 March 2018
How five women made their careers in Bremen

Wind energy, geophysics, translation, design and communication – we portray five diverse women, who have successful careers and shared their fascinating stories with us. What is their industry and working life like? What motivates them? Why Bremen?

Success stories
30 January 2018
Brefeo sells Turkish furniture in Africa

Fatih Özdemir has furniture made in Turkey and sells it to customers mainly in Africa and the Middle East. In theory, he could run his business from anywhere in the world, but there are good reasons why he chose to relocate to Bremen and found Brefeo Hanse GmbH.

Maritime economy and logistics
11 January 2018
A Bremen-based SME is bringing excellent sound and picture quality to mega-yachts

Bremen-based company Home & Marine works in a sector that generates huge interest, but is often shrouded in secrecy – it builds complex entertainment systems for mega-yachts. The company is reluctant to speak about customers and orders, but since it was founded just over 25 years ago, Home & Marine has worked on more than 100 yachts.

Wind energy
8 June 2017
DEME: Using Bremen as a base to focus on offshore projects

GeoSea, a subsidiary of the Belgian DEME group, is helping to construct of some of the largest offshore wind farms in the German North Sea – and in Bremen, the company has found the ideal location to carry out its work.

Investing in Bremen
30 May 2017
Leela Cotton – sustained success through sustainability

Environmentally friendly manufacturing and ethical standards are the principles on which the fair trade clothing sector is based. Leela Cotton, a successful German-Turkish textile company, produces clothes for children and adults that are not only stylish, but also make a positive contribution to the environment in the way they are manufactured.

Investing in Bremen
9 May 2017
AlfaNet: The Bremen-based company that brings Taiwanese display screens to Europe

Weatherproof displays for transport services, and screens that don’t produce glare in bright sunlight – these are just some of the devices provided by AlfaNet Computer und Electronic Handels GmbH, a Bremen-based company founded nearly 25 years ago by Thomas Lie.

Investing in Bremen
2 May 2017
ACSK Clothing: The cosmopolitan clothing company taking a stand against fast fashion

Three continents, four countries, and Bremen at the centre of it all – a start-up could hardly be more international. The young entrepreneurs Ahmed Cheema and Stefan Kuzmanovski want to make sustainable manufacturing and the use of ethically sourced materials standard practice.

Investing in Bremen
2 May 2017
ACSK Clothing: The cosmopolitan clothing company taking a stand against fast fashion

Three continents, four countries, and Bremen at the centre of it all – a start-up could hardly be more international. The young entrepreneurs Ahmed Cheema and Stefan Kuzmanovski want to make sustainable manufacturing and the use of ethically sourced materials standard practice.