NPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase will take place March 23 – 27 in Orlando, Florida. The conference encompasses 1 million net square feet of show floor showcasing, 2,000 leading suppliers in materials, equipment, processors, and services for the plastic industry. Over 60,000 will attend the five day event.
New this year, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association along with Startup.Directory have formed Startup Garage. Currently there are 15 startup companies being featured in the Garage. Five of the companies are university startups that are included in StartupDirectory. The Startup Garage will encompass startups dealing in all areas of plastics including bioplastics, recycling, 3D printing, polymerization, resin processing, antimicrobial polymers, and graphene.
Companies dealing with graphene include Graphenics from the University of Alabama and Garmor from the University of Central Florida. Graphenics is working to produce high grade graphene. While Garmor is producing edge-functionalized graphene oxide that can be used in solar cells, water based lubricants and much more. Their process is accomplished by using new milling technologies with water being the only by-product.
Coming out of the University of Arkansas is TiFiber who began by working with Titanium Dioxide Nanofibers and have expanded to Antimicrobial Polymers. Antimicrobial Polymers can be used in cosmetic preservatives, chronic wound care, textile treatment and other applications. Moving past the manufacturing side of the industry is a company which provides market intelligence for a variety of raw materials. GlowLit from Columbia University is a web based pricing database.
Another company from the University of Arkansas is cycleWood Solutions. cycleWood Solutions is a manufacturing company born from a student MBA assignment. The company is creating 100% compostable bags from lignin. They are currently producing a Xylobag which decomposes to humus in 180 days after reaching the natural environment. Single use bags, liners for trash cans and others products are produced from Xylomer pellets which are a proprietary blend of polymers and additives. To achieve this product, the company uses standard compounding equipment and existing converting equipment.
The Startup Garage will provide industry leaders some of the latest technologies coming out of the universities along with other traditional startup companies. Gerard Eldering, editor of Startup.Directory, will also speak on Mining University Innovations & Startups and Plastic Industry Startup Company Highlights at the conference.