May 11, 2010

Midwest Biopolymers & Biocomposites Workshop


Dan Sawyer

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Collaboration is Key to Advance Biopolymer Market Opportunities

In a market environment where funding for pure technical research and development has dwindled, a new approach to innovation is evolving. More and more, companies are relying on a network combining internal and external resources, as well as academia to advance new developments toward commercial success. Bringing a new technology to market is never simple, but realizing the vision of replacing fossil-based plastics technologies with biopolymers is especially complex. Markets are not asking for one or two isolated replacements. Consumers and retailers alike are looking for full-scale replacement of traditional polymers with biopolymers. As with traditional polymers, no single biopolymer on its own is suited to replace all plastic applications. What will be required to meet the widespread market demand for more sustainable polymer solutions will be a multitude of materials, tailored and enhanced to meet specific application needs. While this seems like an overwhelming task at hand, through proper collaboration between technology and business development, research, and manufacturing, this industry can begin to realize the vast market potential that exists through the current appetite of the “green” consumer. This collaborative approach is being applied and products are beginning to come to market that are driving the addressable market for biopolymers.


Dan Sawyer

Dan Sawyer

Director, Asia-Pacific

NatureWorks LLC


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