Queen's University

Bioplastics and power-generating backpack earn funding


A greener alternative to petroleum-based polymers is one of seven innovative technologies from Queen’s University being awarded a total of $140,000 in development funding from PARTEQ Innovations, the university’s technology transfer office.

“With this funding, Queen’s researchers are able to pursue more market-focused applications of their discoveries in two very strategic areas, environmental sustainability and human health,” says John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ.

Compostable and biodegradable, these plastics are made from renewable resources and can substitute for petroleum-based plastics. They also have potential to make existing rigid and brittle bioplastics more useful.
Bruce Ramsay (Chemical Engineering) and his team are developing materials that have various uses, such as adhesives. They have received $25,000 to refine the fermentation process they use to produce these novel materials.

“These new materials fill two important gaps in the plastics industry,” says Jason Hendry, Commercial Development Manager at PARTEQ. “They provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to some petroleum-based plastics, and they can also be combined with existing bioplastics, enhancing their properties and broadening their use in a variety of consumer products.”

PARTEQ helps Queen’s researchers develop their technology into marketable products for the business world. Since it was founded in 2007, the PARTEQ POP Fund has provided more than $1 million in funding to advance 30 early-stage technologies discovered by Queen’s researchers.

“This program is a great example of how Queen’s supports innovation in a tangible way,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s. “PARTEQ’s funding and expertise gives researchers important leverage and support to further develop these exciting and important discoveries.”

Other innovations being nurtured by PARTEQ’s Proof of Principle Fund include “smart” materials that can be used as oxygen indicators and for UV barriers, a hemp-based building material, a power-saving computer technology, two promising new treatments for pancreatic cancer and heart disease and a human-powered backpack that harvests and stores electrical energy generated through normal activity.

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Last updated at 12:31 pm EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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