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Last updateFri, 25 Jul 2014 7am

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Virginia Polymer Coalition begins

The Virginia Polymer Coalition has begun, with its inaugural networking meeting last week at the Institute. 

The coalition is a cooperative effort among the Institute, the Southside Business Technology Center and Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development. 

The initial meeting was a success with 38 people attending, representing manufacturing, economic development, research and consulting sectors.  

The coalition will bring together technology and manufacturing interests to create a network for innovation and new industry in Southern Virginia. 

A recent survey by the Southside Business Technology Center found that several area polymer firms expressed interest in collaboration as a means of managing energy and raw material costs, and finding a skilled workforce, finding better methods for product testing, materials analysis and waste recycling. 

Several of the participants already have begun networking in an effort to establish collaborative relationships.

Presentations included an overview for the strategy behind bio-based plasticsby Institute Executive Director Liam Leightley; details of the finding of the survey by SBTC President Eva Doss; an explanation of the conversion of biogas and biomass into renewable chemicals and fuels by Eric Cumming, vice president of Corporate Development for Maverick Biofuels; and an overview of the potential for partnerships by John Provo of the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. 

The Coalition plans to meet quarterly and will support the establishment of a regional polymer/plastic initiative. This will reinforce the local cluster of related industry to help make it sustainable and competitive in a global economy.