Green Matter: Woodforce reaches into North America, sets sights on Asia, too

A patented technology that binds wood fiber in pellet form to produce injection moldable and extrudable 'dice' will be commercialized globally.

The New Zealand Crown Research Institute Scion and wood processing giant Sonae Industria Group have signed an agreement extending Sonae Industria's exclusive "Woodforce" license to commercialize the institute's novel method of converting wood fibers into pellets suitable for extrusion and injection molding to create wood-fiber reinforced plastics to North America. Scion developed and patented the technology under its biofiber research program funded by New Zealand's former Foundation of Research, Science and Technology.

Sonae Industria has held the exclusive European license since mid-2011 and in December of that year launched the technology as "Woodforce". Since then, Scion and Sonae Industria have successfully worked together to scale-up the technology for commercial production and also to build the European market. "This license extension was therefore a logical request of Sonae Industria," said Scion CEO Warren Parker. "Manufacturing capability in North America, in addition to Europe, will increase Sonae Industria's ability to fully utilize the technology and supply major markets as demand grows." Scion has also provided Sonae Industria with a timeframe to access the Asian market.

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