Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Naturally-derived Biodegradable Polymers

Request Number
Due Date
Jun 20
Program Manager


Technology licensing, Product acquisition, Joint development, Supplier agreement

Opportunity to provide metric-ton quantities to an S&P 500 company annually


Phase 1 - Review of proposed technologies, Q2 2018
Phase 2 - Laboratory evaluation of select technologies, Q3 2018
Phase 3 - Implementation of technology at commercial scale, Q3/4 2018 into 2019


All financial details to be determined jointly with the client.

Click to access the Response Form

RFP was closed on
Jun 2018

RFP Title


Naturally-derived Biodegradable Polymers
RFP Description

NineSigma, on behalf of a global specialty products manufacturer, seeks to identify suppliers of a natural, biodegradable, polymer to serve as a protective barrier for the client’s products.


NineSigma’s client currently utilizes a petrochemically-derived polymer as a protective layer, separating the product from the environment until deployment. In response to concerns regarding the persistence of these petro-polymers in the environment following usage or disposal, the client wishes to replace this barrier with a more environmentally friendly and sustainable one.


The ideal materials will be positively charged in nature, commercially available (or nearly so) in metric ton quantities and suitable for exposure to volatile & non-volatile small molecule liquids.

Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Review

  • To be completed Q2 2018

Phase 2 – Laboratory Evaluation

  • Samples delivered to the client
  • To be conducted Q3 2018

Phase 3 – Implementation

  • Production-scale up at client facilities
  • Late 2018 into 2019


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.


While NineSigma’s client is primarily interested in technologies currently available in commercial quantities, they will also consider technologies with a suitably short timeline to production.

Key Success Criteria

Performance Criteria:

  • Be cationic
  • Have reactive functional groups
  • Be highly water soluble
  • Be highly receptive to film forming or protective barrier forming
  • Be stable to 50-80°C for 30 min for process survival. Long term stability at 45°C
  • Be compatible with acidic solutions (pH 2-4)
  • Completely prevent interaction between outside environment and client’s product


Environmental & Safety Criteria:

  • Be sustainably sourced
  • Be biodegradable
    • Decomposition products must be safely metabolized by the environment
  • Be safe for user exposure


All proposed technologies must have path to commercial production/scale (metric ton).

Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Sugars
  • Proteins
  • Chitin
  • Chitosan
  • Silica or other inorganics
  • Microbially-produced polymers
  • Modified natural polymers
  • Artificial, naturally biodegradable polymers
Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Negatively charged polymers such as cellulose or alginate
    • Unless it can be modified
  • Lipopeptides
  • Polymers or other materials known to be or suspected to be allergenic such as soy or whey
    • Prefer non-allergenic and animal-product free
  • Polymers which decompose into toxic or non-environmentally friendly components
Items to be Submitted

Click to access the Response Form

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including:
    • Decomposition products
    • Available reactive functional groups
    • Compatibility with acid solutions
    • Processing temperatures
    • Previous application(s)
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a technology transfer agency that represents an inventor or technology holder who can demonstrate an approach to address the request.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest