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SOURCE Magna International Inc.
Exclusive agreement to advance R&D on bio plastics for the automotive
SAILAUF, Germany, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Magna International Inc., a
leading global automotive supplier, and bio-on, an Italian intellectual
property company, have signed a cooperation agreement on December 13,
2013, to start exclusive R&D activities on the use of bio plastics for
the automotive industry.
bio-on has developed a new kind of bio plastic created through the use
of naturally occurring bacteria which feed off sugar beet by-products.
In the process of fermentation, the material is turned into plastic
(polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA). The result is fully biodegradable in
water and soil, an environmentally friendly product that does not rely
on food as a natural resource and could provide alternatives to
conventional plastics for the automotive industry.
Magna, through its Interiors operating unit, is pairing its automotive
know-how with bio-on's chemical expertise to research how production of
this natural polyester product can be elevated to an industrial,
cost-effective scale. Additionally, the two companies will test and
evaluate how bio-on bio plastics will perform in different standard
industry processes such as thermoforming. Magna Interiors will utilize
its facility in Liberec, Czech Republic, for joint testing.
"Our material has already demonstrated great potential in diverse
industries and we now want to apply it to the automotive sector as
well," says Marco Astorri, CEO and co-founder of bio-on. "Through this
partnership, bio-on hopes to contribute significantly to meeting the
global need for a greener future mobility, with lower environmental
"As a leading global automotive supplier, Magna is leveraging its
manufacturing expertise to partner with bio-on to deliver a potential
game-changing innovation to the industry," said Albert Lidauer,
President Magna Interiors Global. "We are excited about the
possibilities this cooperation offers us to further support our
customers in pursuit of environmentally friendly vehicles."
About bio-on. Founded in 2007 bio-on has developed and protect the world's first bio
plastic PHAs that are 100% naturally biodegradable in water and soil.
An outstanding product that is derived from the transformation of beet
and cane sugar production residues (in Italy in partnership with
Co.Pro.B.), using a natural production process with no organic
solvents. The product also biodegrades in river water in just a few
weeks, leaving no trace. The PHA bio plastic developed by bio-on turns
a waste product that would otherwise be discarded (a cost therefore
becomes a resource) and therefore has no impact on the food chain,
unlike other types of "organic" products such as biofuels or other bio
plastics that use cereals. The bio plastic protect by bio-on has
extraordinary features: high thermal and mechanical resistance; can be
worked using standard production technologies used for common plastics
from oil. It is therefore possible to make an infinite variety of
objects in all sectors which currently use traditional plastics made
from oil. The biodegradability of bio-on bio plastic was certified in
2008 by Vinçotte. Bio-on is an Intellectual Property Company and
provides technology for the production or use of PHAs based on a
license that restricts their use to a particular territory or to a
specific business area. More information: www.bio-on.it
About Magna Interiors. Magna Interiors, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., is a
global full-service supplier of automotive interior systems. We design,
engineer and manufacture cockpit systems; door panels; overhead
systems; soft trim and cargo management; garnish and hard trim for the
automotive and commercial truck industries as well as for consumer
About Magna International. We are a leading global automotive supplier with 316 manufacturing
operations and 84 product development, engineering and sales centres in
29 countries. We have over 125,000 employees focused on delivering
superior value to our customers through innovative processes and World
Class Manufacturing. Our product capabilities include producing body,
chassis, interior, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, vision,
closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle
engineering and contract manufacturing. Our common shares trade on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (MG) and the New York Stock Exchange (MGA). For
further information about Magna, visit our website at www.magna.com.
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