Announced earlier this year, the joint development agreement involves AkzoNobel's Performance Additives unit developing applications for Itaconix polymers to be used in the coatings and construction industries.
"We are pleased to be announcing the first in a series of agreements to develop these polymers for commercial use," said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business. Nieuwenhuizen detailed the development during a presentation today at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal.
"Being able to incorporate polymers made from renewable bio-based raw materials will give a significant sustainability advantage for our customers and also fits closely with our own Planet Possible sustainability agenda of doing more with less," he said.
Under the agreement, Itaconix will contribute its proprietary polymers from itaconic acid, which are obtained from sugars through fermentation. Continued Nieuwenhuizen: "In addition to applications in coatings and construction materials, bio-based polymers have the potential to be used in a range of other everyday essentials, ranging from improving water quality to cleaning and hygiene products."
Dr. Kevin Matthews, CEO of Itaconix, added: "This is the first commercial step in our joint development agreement to collaborate on delivering valuable solutions to AkzoNobel customers with the novel performance of our polymers. We are excited to further strengthen our relationship with AkzoNobel and look forward to combining their deep application knowledge with our unique chemistries to build key product positions in these large and important markets."
Nieuwenhuizen also pointed out that the collaboration with Itaconix is another example of AkzoNobel's approach to embracing open innovation to help find more sustainable solutions. The company recently announced the winners of its Imagine Chemistry open innovation challenge, which included start-ups working in fermentation and with bio-based raw materials.