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Sustainability at the University of Minnesota
October 31, 2023
The University of Minnesota has been a pivotal partner to Phoam Labs since our founding. Our original
bio-based floral foam technology was developed at the University as a research project with Prof. Marc
Hillmyer, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair and Director of the National Science Foundation Center
for Sustainable Polymers (CSP).
Our project was a part of the CSP, a Center for Chemical Innovation, which is working to "transform how
plastics are made, unmade, and remade through innovative research, engaging education, and diverse
partnerships that together foster environmental stewardship." We received a wide range of support in
developing a new product that has never been made before. Working with the CSP, we published an
academic research article detailing our new technology and supporting science. We received patents for
our work in both the United States and Europe.
Bio-based materials will play an important role in research and development of future products and the
University of Minnesota is at the forefront of developing these new technologies. Phoam Labs was
recently featured alongside fellow CSP companies in the cover story of the Minneapolis/St. Paul
Business Journal on The State's New Crop: Bioplastics. We have received support from the University as
the Grand Prize Winners of the Minnesota Cup–the largest state-funded startup competition in the U.S.
Along with the support we've received, we recently started up a new research project with the UMN
Department of Horticultural Science, pushing Phoam Labs' scientific
understanding of our materials to a whole new level. In addition, we are pursuing funding with other
university partners to continue to push the boundary of new technologies and help to make Minnesota
a nation leading innovation ecosystem for sustainable materials.