UK – British bioplastics and radio frequency business Biome has secured £244,000 (US$282,536) funding from government agency Innovate UK to enhance bioplastic food packaging.

The funding will support a collaborative development project with the South Korean firm ANPOLY.

ANPOLY is a spin-out from the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) with advanced technology to produce bespoke cellulose nanofibers.

This project, which will have a total investment of £794,000 (US$915,863.12), will start in October 2022 and is expected to last two years.

As brands seek to adopt bioplastics, there is an increasing demand for materials with a longer shelf life to reduce food waste.

Such improved performance currently requires the use of fossil-based additives, whereas cellulose nanofibers can offer similar performance with sustainable credentials.

 The project will combine Biome’s bioplastic product portfolio and market knowledge with ANOPOLY’s novel additives.

Biome Technologies Chief Executive Paul Mines said: “This latest development project is an important enabling step in understanding the functionality of a combination of Biome’s most exciting products with cutting edge additive and technologies coming through from ANPOLY.

“We believe these could represent an important addition to the business’s product range in due course and will bring benefits to manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.”

The project is part of Biome’s plan to introduce highly functional, added-value products to address the growing demand for materials with longer shelf-life, as these could reduce food waste.

Biome said that the use of cellulose nanofibers can deliver similar performance to fossil-based additives while offering sustainability benefits.

The partners are expected to commercialize products derived from this project following its completion.

Based in Southampton, Biome Bioplastics aims to produce bioplastics that could replace oil-based polymers.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Biome Technologies, a technology group listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Innovate UK has been supporting companies and organizations with financial backing to make new products and services.

In July last year, UK-based plastic recycling organization RECOUP also received

funding from Innovate UK for a plastic recycling communications research project in Kent.

The project aimed to explore the link between communications and plastic recycling and deliver and measure the overall impact of recycling communications campaigns.

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