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Company based on Coates' research raises $6.6 million

Novomer Inc., an Ithaca company working to produce ecofriendly plastics using methods developed by Cornell chemistry professor Geoffrey Coates, announced that it has raised $6.6 million in venture capital funding.

Physic Ventures in San Francisco and Flagship Ventures in Cambridge, Mass., are the principal investors.

Founded in 2004 by Coates, Cornell graduate Scott Allen and technology commercialization firm KensaGroup, Novomer applies research from Coates' lab to produce biodegradable plastics and other polymers from renewable sources and waste products -- including carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The technology was licensed from Cornell through the Cornell Center for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization.

Biodegradable polymers could replace common petroleum-based materials like plastic, rubber or Styrofoam, in industry, farming, medicine and other applications, Coates says.

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