Nestlé, Schneider Electric and PSA Peugeot Citroën are also part of the venture that is sponsoring a Chair in Bioplastics at the Ecole des Mines de Paris.
The group will sponsor the Chair for five years, to be led by Tatiana Budtova, with the aim of creating plastics from renewable materials that can replace petrochemical feedstock.
According to the Parisian engineering school, developing such materials is necessary for industry in light of depleting petrochemical stores, price variability and the environmental issues surrounding a non renewable resource.
Packaging for food and cosmetics
In particular, the research will be focused on developing new materials from renewable resources that have the desired finished properties needed for cosmetics, personal care and food packaging, as well as new industrial materials for Schneider Electric and PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Funding will be available for 6 doctorate theses, the first of which will investigate new bio composite materials and their properties.
In addition, work experience opportunities will also be made available to young students.
As well as taking part in fundamental research, the Chair also offers training to others interested in the topic.
A Post-Master degree in Bioplastics is offered as a one year course. The only degree of its kind in Europe, the course is designed for engineers interested in learning about the scientific challenges and techniques involved in creating bioplastics.
Commenting on the project, Nestle’s Head of Global Packaging Dr Anne Roulin said: “We consider that this is the beginning of a new era of bioplastics. Today we are just at the start of a long journey in research and development…”