Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Strengthening or Coloration/Odor Suppression of CNF-reinforced Resin Composites

Request Number
Due Date
Dec 24, 2019
Program Manager

Joint/contract development, licensing, consulting, product supply


Phase 1: Prototype production within 1 year
Phase 2: Establishment of mass production technology within 2 years (after the completion of Phase 1)


Budget for Joint development already secured
(Detailed amount and sharing to be negotiated based on proposal)


How to  Apply
  • Click "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.


If you have any questions or request, please feel free to contact us at:
RFP was closed on
Jan 2020

RFP Title


Strengthening or Coloration/Odor Suppression of CNF-reinforced Resin Composites
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a major manufacturer with sales of several hundred billion yen (“Client”), seeks technologies that can increase material strength (1, 2) or control discoloration and odor (3) during the manufacture of cellulose nanofiber (CNF)-reinforced resin composites.

The Client is open to a range of approaches including the modification or surface treatment of CNF, dispersion technology, mixing process, and additives. Various applications from partners aggressive to develop sustainable materials are welcome.



Key Success Criteria

Target Properties

The development target is to any one of properties 1-3 listed below for polyolefin or bio-based resin. Even if you have no clear prospect of achieving the target at this time, technical approaches that can contribute to the target property achievement by, for example, combining with proprietary technology of the Client are widely welcome.

1. Strengthening of CNF-reinforced polyolefin resin composites

  • Matrix resin: Polypropylene, polyethylene, etc.
  • Amount of CNF: 0.5-15 wt%
  • Flexural modulus (ISO178): More than double compared to before CNF addition
  • Impact resistance (Charpy impact test at 23°C, ISO179): Equivalent or above compared to before CNF addition

2. Strengthening of CNF-reinforced bio-based resin composites

  • Additive amount of CNF: 0.5-15 wt%
  • Flexural modulus (ISO178): More than double compared to before CNF addition
  • Impact resistance (Charpy impact test at 23°C, ISO179): More than 20% improvement compared to before CNF addition

3. Technology that can suppress discoloration and odor during the manufacture of CNF-reinforced resin composites

  • Discoloration: Control coloring at a level that does not affect coloring with pigments or dyes after mixing process
  • Odor: Capable of reducing the odor of heated cellulose (caramelized flavor) and other characteristic odors


Although applications to the above manufacturing processes are assumed, current accomplishments are not questioned if the proposed technology will be applicable in the future.

Possible Approaches

Possible approaches

The Client expects technological approaches such as the following, but is open to others:

  • Surface treatment or modification of CNF
  • Addition of compatibilizer
  • Addition of dispersant
  • Dispersion process improvement
  • Development of biopolymer with high strength
  • Other technologies or combinations of above approaches
Items to be Submitted


The Client has been developing light and highly durable materials to build a sustainable society. By combining CNF and resin, a thinner-than-conventional resin member can demonstrate the same stiffness and strength, which will improve fuel efficiency in automobiles, etc. or reduce resource consumption.

Although the Client has succeeded in the development of comparatively reduced weight materials with the stiffness and strength retained, the target levels have not been achieved yet.

As another challenge, coloration and odor (caramelized flavor) due to CNF generated by heating in the compounding process hamper the promotion of the technology development.

The Client desires to put sustainable materials to practical use as soon as possible by identifying a partner(s) for the advanced technology development and accelerating research and development, and hence decided to recruit technology proposals.


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.


Response evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences


Anticipated Project Process

After the submission due date, the client will review all submitted proposals. NineSigma will send the review results to each proposer 6-8 weeks after the due date. The client possibly asks clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest