Building Capacity and Capability in the Bio-based Materials Manufacturing Sector
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Full Description:

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR), with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration as part of the Make it in America Challenge, produced this research to explore pathways toward building capacity and capability in automotive use of manufactured biomaterials. Biomaterials bring manufacturing and agriculture together through innovation in developing and manufacturing plant-based advanced materials for automotive uses. There is a long history of using bio-based materials that goes back to the earliest days of the automotive industry.

The automotive industry’s interest in environmentally-friendly materials and technologies goes beyond lightweighting and regulation compliance. Other factors driving the increased use of biomaterials include economic, sustainability, business, and product-specific concerns. Bio-based materials are not likely to achieve widespread adoption in the automotive industry as long as petrochemical prices remain low, policymakers do not incentivize or mandate their usage, and/or consumer demand is low. However, the companies and organizations that are currently working to develop bio-based materials do so to ensure they are ready with a diverse portfolio of products if and when conditions become more favorable.

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