NOVAMONT is an Italian industrial company whose roots lie in the Montedison School of Materials Science and which was set up to implement the ambitious project of some researchers from the chemical corporation: to integrate chemistry, agriculture and the environment.
Founded in 1989, it is now worldwide leader in the sector of bioplastics and involved in the development of bioproducts such as biolubricants, biochemicals and cosmetic ingredients from renewable sources.
NOVAMONT’s mission is to develop materials and biochemicals through the integration of chemistry and agriculture, by starting up biorefineries in the local areas and providing application solutions that ensure efficient use of resources throughout their entire life cycle, with advantages for the social, economic and environmental system.
Its model of development aims at building bridges between different sectors and creating new value by collaborating with all the stakeholders in the value chain: from agriculture to research, from industry to waste management, from local institutions to civil society.
Guided by these principles, NOVAMONT promotes an approach to bioeconomy based on the efficient use of renewable resources and on the regeneration of local areas, building world-first plants based on proprietary technologies and revitalising industrial sites that are decommissioned or no longer competitive to create new industries, new products and new jobs. Examples are Mater-Biotech, the company born from the reconversion of a decommissioned industrial site in north-east Italy into the first dedicated industrial plant at world level to produce biobutanediol through fermentative processes and the Matrìca biorefinery, the 50:50 joint venture between NOVAMONT and Versalis (Eni) to reconvert a part of a preexisting petrochemical site in Sardinia. A further example is the subsidiary Mater-Biopolymer, in central Italy, producing biopolyesters in a plant reconverted using a NOVAMONT’s proprietary technology.
Besides being an industrial company, NOVAMONT is also a research centre which covers a wide range of expertise and specialisations, with equipment and facilities ranging from laboratory scale activities to innovative pilot plants. Over the years it has developed four proprietary and integrated technologies for the production of bioplastics and bioproducts, creating synergies between the different areas of study (Bioplastics, Biotechnology, Agronomics and Organic Chemistry).
Moreover, NOVAMONT regularly implements training programmes for young and experienced researchers, in collaboration with partners from the public and the private sector (more than 300 activities since 2000).
MATER-BI is the innovative family of bioplastics developed by NOVAMONT research. It is biodegradable and compostable according to the European standard EN 13432 and other international standards and has characteristics of use very similar to those of traditional plastics.
MATER-BI provides solutions for specific environmental problems while combining product quality and performance with an efficient use of resources. In particular, 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 foodserviceware, packaging.