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press release 09.07.2009

NatureWorks and Avantium to Collaborate on a New Generation of Biobased Polymers

NatureWorks and Avantium, two leaders in the field of sustainable materials, announced today a development partnership formed to more fully understand the properties and commercial potential of a new generation of polymers made from renewable resources.

The partnership is based on Avantium's work in deriving monomers and polymers from non food biomass and on NatureWorks success in developing a wide range of end markets & products for its Ingeo biopolymer. Avantium calls this class of bio-based polymers Furanics, and the companies believe this new class of products for both biofuels and plastics holds important promise because of the potential efficiencies in production, the wide availability and diversity of sources for biomass, and the versatility and performance of end products.

Initially, NatureWorks will be conducting in-house testing of a selection of Avantium's polymers for a range of applications, such as personal electronics, automotive, fibers and other engineering plastics applications. The testing period is expected to last approximately one year. This collaboration will clear the way for the market introduction of this new generation of bio-based polymers, which may take several years, and which would be complimentary to NatureWorks existing Ingeo portfolio.

"We believe it is incumbent on us to investigate tomorrow's potential solutions beginning today," said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. "For example, development of NatureWorks Ingeo biopolymer began in the 1990s. Avantium's work to date is impressive, and we look forward to a productive joint collaboration."

"Our new partnership with NatureWorks will provide us with highly relevant insights into the potential of Furanics in a wide range of applications," said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. "NatureWorks' experience in commercializing new polymers combined with our proprietary technology may result in a new sustainable alternative to petroleum based products. This agreement is an important step towards the commercialization of our Furanics bioplastics."

About NatureWorks
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world's needs today without compromising the earth's ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. Ingeo and the Ingeo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

For more information about NatureWorks, please contact Steve Davies at +1-952-742-0630 (

About Avantium
Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes Furanics, a next generation of bio-based fuels and plastics. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology and knowledge by collaborating with leading companies in the energy, chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Avantium's customer base for its R&D services and systems offering consists of more than 70 companies worldwide, including market leaders such as BP, Shell, Sasol, Pfizer and GSK. In 2008, the company generated revenues of approximately EUR 19 million. Avantium has around 130 employees; its offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

For more information about Avantium, please contact Mariƫtte Hoogendoorn at +31 20 586 8010 or visit the website: