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New HQ for Natureworks

Expanded laboratories will support research into Ingeo fermentation technology, new applications and increased functionality.

20th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Plymouth, MN, USA

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear

In response to rapid growth in the market for sustainable biomaterials, NatureWorks is to open a new headquarters and advanced biopolymer research facility in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Its expanded laboratory capabilities will support research into the full circular lifecyle of Ingeo biopolymers from next generation fermentation technology to new applications and  increased functionality.

The expanded R&D capabilities will also support the construction and operation of company’s new fully integrated Ingeo PLA manufacturing complex to be located in Thailand. With an expected opening in 2024, the Thai facility will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

“In the face of these challenging times we’ve designed a space that will enable research, invention, and collaboration between us, our partners, and the market, no matter where we are located in the world,” said Rich Altice, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “These new facilities will help accelerate the pace of research and innovation as the urgent need for real, safe solutions that help address climate and environmental challenges from plastics and chemicals continues to grow.”

The new space is designed to embody NatureWorks’s mission to create sustainable, high-performance materials by incorporating low environmental impact materials including lighting, flooring, and art made with Ingeo as well as systems for reducing water and energy usage. A robust organics recycling collection system will divert food waste away from landfills to compost with compostable food serviceware, coffee pods, and tea bags all available to visitors and employees.

Whether participating in trials in the applications lab or meeting with employees, visitors will find a redesigned experience that facilitates collaboration and showcases examples of Ingeo in applications from appliances to 3D printing, to compostable and recyclable paper coatings.

The move to the new headquarters and R&D facility will begin in February 2022.

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