NCGA Consider Corn Challenge Winner Gets Another Step Closer to Commercialization

December 7, 2022

NCGA Consider Corn Challenge Winner Gets Another Step Closer to Commercialization

Dec 7, 2022

Key Issues:New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

ExoPolymer, Inc., a winner of the Consider Corn Challenge II, recently announced a new partnership with CP Kelco, which takes ExoPolymer’s technology one step closer to commercialization. The partnership with CP Kelco will help ExoPolymer scale up production of a polysaccharide-based biopolymer. ExoPolymer is creating a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries.


“We are thrilled to see one of our previous Consider Corn Challenge Winners, Derek Wells and ExoPolymer, continue to reach key milestones in becoming closer to commercialization,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “This is our hope for all of our winners and is the goal of the contest. We want to help bring to light some of the great research that’s happening out there using corn as an industrial feedstock, which in turn increases corn demand.”


In addition to the assistance from the NCGA, ExoPolymer raised Seed funding from the Investment Group of Santa Barbara to help with early research for targeted markets. They also received funding from the USDA through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.


If all 15 winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I, II & III reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand could be approximately 3.4 billion bushels.


NCGA will be announcing rules for a fourth Consider Corn Challenge in the coming months.