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Dutch giant DSM invests in plastics start-up

Carbon-dioxide-to-plastics company Novomer attracts DSM, a Dutch conglomerate that makes everything from food enzymes to pharmaceuticals to chemicals.

DSM, a Dutch giant that makes everything from food enzymes and pharmaceuticals to plastics and chemicals, has invested in Novomer, which has a process for converting carbon dioxide to biodegradable plastic.

DSM Venturing participated in the $6.6 million series A round that was announced last month, DSM said Wednesday.

This is the resin that forms the basis of Novomer's biodegradeable plastics. Novomer

DSM said the two companies signed a "cooperation agreement" but did not disclose the amount of DSM Venturing's investment or many other details. Flagship Ventures and Physic Ventures also took part in the funding round.

Novomer, which was spun out of Cornell University, has developed a catalyst that can make biodegradable plastic from liquid metals and carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. It intends to make a range of different plastics.

DSM has annual sales of about $13 billion and develops materials and chemicals for several different markets, including consumer products, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.

There are a number of companies investing in new techniques for making biodegradable plastics or making plastics from plant material, like corn starch.

Earlier this month, bioplastic company Cereplast announced plans to start building a production facility in Indiana, set to open for operation in 2010, which will make half a billion pounds of plastics a year.

Another company, Metabolix, has signed a deal with retail store Target to make a gift card out of its bioplastic product called Mirel.