The University City Science Center (Science Center), announced on July 14 that R&D Green Materials, an emerging firm that will produce and market a variety of bio-based plastic materials using unique, green manufacturing processes, has established operations in the Science Center Incubator. The announcement marks the first 'green' technology start-up to locate within the Science Center, and the beginning of a new "Green Business Incubation" initiative with Green Village Philadelphia.
R&D Green Materials' technology will result in production of solid, bio-based plastic products manufactured directly from plant protein. Its proprietary, water-based process is expected to eliminate health risks to manufacturing workers, alleviating the company of many of the regulatory burdens that face the petroleum-based plastics industry. The company will characterize the properties of plant protein-based plastic in terms of its mechanical strength and molecular structure, and demonstrate the feasibility of its use in a variety of applications.
"Our goal is to commercialize plastic products from renewable resources that will not only degrade in landfills, but are also economically and structurally competitive with synthetic plastics," said Dr. Dara Woerdeman, founder and chief science officer of R&D Green Materials. "Ultimately, we predict that our process will result in lower costs for manufacturers of plastic parts, because the manufacturing process can be carried out at low temperatures and precludes the use of costly additives and expensive tooling."
R&D Green Materials will incubate with operational assistance from the Science Center, and with business assistance from Green Village Philadelphia (GVP), a regional group of entrepreneurs. GVP comprises business owners and community activists engaged in developing a sustainable urban neighborhood that will be a pioneer of holistic urban planning.
The Science Center (www.sciencecenter.org) provides early stage life science and technology companies with the critical resources that accelerates their commercialization and provides the infrastructure and community they need to flourish. The Science Center offers specialized wet and dry laboratory facilities, turnkey management services and industry expertise in life sciences along with technology. Since 1963, over 400 companies have originated at the Science Center and today those companies employ over 29,000 people and generate annual revenues in excess of $8 billion.