Research at the FPL aims to improve forest health while boosting the economy and improving quality of life for the public. Developing products that are commercially viable helps meet that goal, but getting new technologies into the marketplace can be challenging. Often, creating partnerships with private companies helps to move newly developed products out of the laboratory and into the hands of the people who can benefit from them.
Noble Environmental Technologies (NET, San Diego, Calif.), a leading sustainable materials developer and manufacturer, has had a long and successful partnership with FPL. Recently, NET announced its exclusive license to commercialize technology based on two patents that were filed jointly with FPL.
NET and FPL previously partnered under a cooperative agreement that resulted in the development of three-dimensional engineered molded fiber (3dEMF). NET named the new manufacturing technology and resulting products “ECOR® Advanced Environmental Composites.”
“This license agreement is another milestone in our long-standing collaboration with the FPL, where environmentally superior fiber-based structural technologies have been a focus for decades,” says NET Founder and CEO and ECOR® inventor Robert Noble. “Many industries and markets worldwide will now have access to a large variety of design-versatile, nontoxic, 100% recycled content, 100% biobased products for an almost infinite variety of market and product needs.”
John Hunt, Research General Engineer at FPL, has worked closely with NET and is pleased with the outcome. “The collaboration between the FPL and NET is a perfect example of how government and industry can work together to meet society’s needs,” says Hunt. “By combining our unique capabilities, we were able to turn research results into tangible products—products that bring improved options to consumers and promote the sustainable use of resources, all while creating jobs and contributing to the economy.”
ECOR products provide solutions to designers and architects searching for materials which are versatile and can provide imaginative design opportunities. Extraordinary characteristics, including environmental sustainability, distinctive shaping, compound curves, and significant strength-to-weight ratios make ECOR unique. The product can be used in countless applications ranging from furniture, interior architecture and decor, signage and displays, automotive, aviation, marine, rail, industrial and manufacturing, military/logistics and consumer products.
Dr. James Torti, NET’s President remarks, “Fiber resources and underutilized raw material sources are ubiquitous worldwide. NET’s work with FPL provides the platform for utilizing the widest array of raw materials to provide significant economic and environmentally sustainable opportunities within farm, forest, and urban redevelopment locations. We are proud to be moving together to the next level of commercialization of these great technologies.”
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By Rebecca M. Wallace, FPL Public Affairs Specialist