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The linear economy model has already demonstrated to create high environmental, social and economic costs, producing a large quantity of waste of resources, without actually being able to provide a response to global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, GHG emissions and soil desertification. It is therefore necessary a shift from the current linear model to a new paradigm to lead the transition towards a low carbon and resource efficient economy.
Novamont is moving in this direction boosting competitiveness through a model of continuous innovation applied to the local areas and their traditions and problems in order to concentrate on diversified quality rather than undifferentiated quantity. Novamont was founded in 1989 as a research center of the Montedison Group to create a link between the agricultural raw materials of the Ferruzzi Group and the chemical sector of Montecatini. Today Novamont is a world’s leading company in the sector of the bioplastics and in the development of biochemicals and bioproducts.
The Novamont’s bioeconomy model is based on a "circular approach to bioeconomy", a model of territorial regeneration based on: the reindustrialization of no longer competitive sites in order to create "bioeconomy infrastructures"; on integrated agricultural value chains not in competition with food production and on products designed to provide unique and sustainable solutions for specific environmental and social problems.
Novamont has made a relevant effort in recent years to industrialize its cutting-edge technologies, in terms of both financing and research. Over the years Novamont has been developing a solid portfolio of around 1,000 patent cases, ranging from starch-based polymers, with the evolution of the technology of complexed starches towards highly concentrated and stable emulsions, to the Origo-Bi® biodegradable polyesters and to the Mater-Bi family of bioplastics. MATER-BI® is a range of bio-based plastics which are biodegradable and compostable, developed by Novamont research to provide solutions for specific environmental problems and to help promote sustainable behavior. MATER-BI has been conceived for applications in which biodegradability and compostability represent an added value such as shopping bags that can be reused to collect organic waste or foodware products “contaminated” with leftovers, or serve a function, such as mulch films. The main fields of application are: separate waste collection, agriculture, large retail sector, disposable foodservice ware and packaging. The biorefinery model promoted by Novamont is composed of 6 interconnected sites and 4 proprietary technologies, integrating the already consolidated chemical processes for the production of biochemicals with industrial biotechnologies and thus paving the way for the production of further chemicals intermediates from renewable sources. A practical example is represented by Mater-Biotech. Mater-Biotech is a company based in Adria (RO) and 100% controlled by Novamont SpA. Mater-Biotech was created by Novamont in 2012 with the aim of creating the first industrial plant in the world dedicated to the production of bio-butanediol (1.4 BDO) directly from sugars, starting from a microorganism developed by Genomatica, a Californian company leader in the development of microorganisms for fermentation processes, and based on Novamont know-how and excellence in the development of low-impact processes.