Biovation Signs $978,000 Contract with US Marine Corps for Biodegradable, Bioplastics Boot-Drying Technology
Award is from the Department of Navy’s Rapid Innovation Fund, and will enable Biovation to field test and benchmark the technology in preparation for high-volume manufacturing
BOOTHBAY, ME – June 26, 2013 – Biovation II, LLC, a manufacturer of specialty non-woven biopolymer fiber products and a portfolio company of Anania & Associates Investment Company (AAI), announces that it has received a $978,000 contract from the Department of Navy, United States Marine Corps System Command, to develop military-grade boot-drying product samples for use by soldiers in combat and in the field. Biovation’s technology incorporates super-absorbent polymer and polylactic acid (PLA) materials into a lightweight, multi-use product that quickly dries Marines’ wet boots in the field without the use of power. The technology is made from US-sourced materials, and is completely biodegradable and bio-compostable. The contract is from the Navy’s Rapid Innovation Fund, which was created to transition innovative technologies into acquisition programs. Biovation will manufacture the products at its Boothbay, ME facility, and anticipates hiring two full-time staff immediately.
“This contract award is fantastic news for Maine and our Marines,” says Senator Angus King. “Biovation and its products are an outstanding example of how Maine manufacturers are at the forefront of applied sciences, and its innovative work on this project holds the potential to not only make an immediate and significant difference for our Marines, but also give them an advantage in combat and in the field. Cutting-edge technologies like these will define the future, and I’m pleased to see that Maine companies, like Biovation, are helping to drive that process forward.”
“I was impressed with the high quality, innovative work going on at Biovation when I visited last year and am glad to see them win this important contract. This is a good example of the ingenuity and hard work coming out of Maine high-tech businesses and shows how these companies can contribute to the Maine economy,” says Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “Biovation is not only creating jobs and helping drive economic development in the Midcoast, but its product is also improving conditions for Marines serving in harsh conditions.”
The product features a biopolymer non-woven fabric layer technology that is a powerful moisture scavenger combined with antimicrobial chemistry that reduces odor-causing pathogens. Marines carry the portable product in their backpacks, and place it into their wet combat boots for rapid drying within a wide range of environmental conditions found in the battlefield. The PLA material uses Biovation’s proprietary meltblown polymer manufacturing process, resulting in a product that is robust yet compostable, and therefore easily disposed.
“Making a product that fulfills the rigorous requirements of the US Marine Corps is a tall challenge. But to come up with the idea from your technology, prove that it works and then convince the Marines it’s what they need to keep their soldiers’ feet dry, requires a special group of innovators,” says Bob Martin, President of Maine Technology Institute. “Biovation is that kind of special company, and we are delighted to support their efforts.”
The 20-month contract includes product and manufacturing development with four review and modification cycles: Biovation will deliver a product for the Marines to test in the field; the Marines will provide feedback to Biovation for further modifications. The end result will be a field-tested, performance-benchmarked, military-grade product verified by the Department of Navy. This process is an important step toward being able to compete for a full manufacturing and product delivery contract with the Navy and other military branches, as well as to introduce the product in the commercial marketplace.
“We are always excited when one our portfolio companies achieves a significant milestone, yet Biovation’s contract with the Navy is particularly rewarding since it will improve the lives of men and women serving our country in difficult and uncomfortable circumstances,” says Peter V. Anania, President, AAI. “We congratulate the team at Biovation for this important win.”
“Biovation is excited that our years of research and development have enabled us to create a product that supports our Marines serving in the field and in combat,” says Kerem Durdag, CEO, of Biovation II. “This is a major benchmark for our company, but it also is a win for our Maine and US-based suppliers and partners, Maine’s bioplastics community, and Maine’s ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
About ANANIA & Associates Investment Company LLC (AAI)
AAI is a Maine-based investment fund investing in small, well-managed companies, primarily in the manufacturing sector. AAI provides active, hands-on financial, management and marketing oversight support to assist in both daily operations as well as enhance the long-term value of its portfolio companies. AAI raised more than $5.0 million in new equity capital since 2010, investing in Maine companies. For more information, please call Jeffrey G. Tounge, Director of Business Development at +1.207.712.1452, email JTounge at Anania.biz, or visit www.Anania.biz.
About Biovation II, LLC
Biovation is a technology design and manufacturing company that manufactures advanced non-woven fiber products with integrated antimicrobial properties for food packaging, wound care, healthcare, custom OEM products, and other specialty scalable applications. Biovation has extensive experience with green biopolymers such as polylactic acid, which comes from cornstarch and is completely biodegradable. For more information, call +1.207.633.0616 or visit www.biovation.com.
Kerem Durdag, CEO
Biovation II, LLC
kdurdag at biovation.com
+1.207-633-0616 x 12