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Silicon Ingredient Leader Joins High-Performance Naturals Supplier

Posted: September 10, 2008

Anne Buckingham, Dow Corning Corporation’s business development manager, life science industry, couldn’t be happier about the formation of her company’s recent partnership with Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. A joint development and marketing agreement announced during HBA in New York City this week will enable Dow Corning’s silicon expertise to be used on Elevance’s specialty chemicals from natural oils, using Nobel Prize winning technology. “We’re trying to leverage the strengths of both markets,” Buckingham says. “Dow Corning wanted to expand our offerings into the natural segment.”

Elevance formed in 2007 as a spin-off of Cargill, Inc., focusing on bridging renewable, natural ingredients with the chemical industry for better performing waxes, functional oils, lubricants and antimicrobials. Dow Corning, according to Andrew Shafer, executive vice president, sales and market development for Elevance, was a perfect fit to expand the young company’s offerings into the silicon segment.

Together, the two have already pushed the beginning of a line of first generation products to market—customizable by their customers for use in hair care, skin care and sun care segments. A soy wax and a soy wax blend are the first of what Buckingham says will be a slew of high-performance, naturally-based ingredients meant for use in the personal care market. Thus far, Dow Corning and Elevance have found uses for the soy in ethnic hair care products, specifically, and in moisturizing skin care products, as well as in future possibilities for new UV barrier protection in sun care lines.

For Shafer, the three most important product factors driving current marketplace behavior include performance, economic value and an environmentally friendly or natural aspect. The best part about this new partnership, Shaffer says, is that the companies are combining a natural element with high-performance products—something which, he believes, is often lacking in all-natural personal care products.

Buckingham adds that the partnership will lead to future product launches down the road, as well as the opportunity for growth in the areas of co-polymers, unique new delivery systems and customization. One area the companies have already been examining, according to Bartley Maxon, senior industry specialist, life sciences industry, Dow Corning Corporation, is “how combining silicones with other ingredients affects the skin physiologically.” The emphasis, he says, will truly follow Dow Corning and Elevance’s business models—to “go beyond.”