A UK company and a European company are jointly seeking new technologies to facilitate the improved manufacturing and improve the functionality of polyolefins and polyols. The materials must have proof of concept and they should enable use in markets including construction, food, healthcare, automotive. Dependent on the stage of development the agreements may include licensing, joint venture, technical cooperation or commercial agreement with technical assistance.
A UK innovation network, in collaboration with a European manufacturer of petrochemicals, is seeking materials and methods to facilitate circular economy around various industrial polymers.
The manufacturer makes speciality polyols, glycols and polyolefin-based materials for use in technically demanding and often niche applications. Polyolefins (POs) are versatile plastics with good physical and chemical properties (e.g. lightweight, transparent, mechanical, flexibility and weather resistance), and as such are used in a wide variety of industries. Polyols and glycols are intermediates used for the manufacture of materials such as polyurethane (e.g. for adhesive or foams). More specifically, the company is not involved in the downstream processing or recycling of these specialised grades. However, as these polymers are often used in emerging markets and new applications, close relations with downstream users allow for raising the profile of eco-friendly materials and exploring ways for recycling or reuse.
New materials and methods are sought that promise to simplify the creation, manufacturing and end of life processing, whilst not compromising in performance. There is scope to develop new materials with the intention to replace wood, metal, concrete or glass.
Polymers of interest include:
? Polyolefin-based (PO) materials
? Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and Ethylene butyl acrylate (EBA)
? Polyethylene – high and low density (HDPE and LDPE/LLDPE)
? Polypropylene (PP) copolymers
? Polyol/glycol-based materials
The company is able to invest in product development and assist in scaling up suitable technology-led opportunities, providing a quicker time to market for early stage companies, or those exploring new markets for an existing product. The company has excellent routes to market through existing customers and their own extensive sales and distribution network. The transfer of technology will depend on the stage of development and may include commercial agreements with technical assistance, technical cooperation, licensing, joint venture.
- Type of partner sought: Materials (or methods) proposed should offer one of the following for polyolefins and polyol/glycol based materials:
? Fire retardancy (removing inorganic additives)
? Improved longevity of product (e.g. self-healing)
? Enable function with minimal additive use
? Improve the end-of-life, recyclability and eventual reuse of the material – e.g. identification/tracking of material and source and enable a circular economy
? Enable/improve chemical and mechanical recycling processes to allow separation of ink, contaminants, additives
? Enable new applications, e.g. plastronics, renewables
? Enable production of polyols with alternative raw materials
Each opportunity should meet the following criteria:
- Be proven to TRL 4 or above (i.e. already demonstrated) or able to reach the market within 3 years
- Good IP or at least sufficient to provide protection in the following markets - construction/building use; automotive and transportation; food and healthcare; sustainable materials.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Type of partner sought: industry and academia
- Specific area of activity of the partner: chemistry and materials science. Their current field of work need not be in the construction, food, healthcare, automotive chemicals but there is potential to enter this field.
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: industry and academia are invited to send non-confidential description of their proposals and what stage they are at.
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