Case Study

Newlight Technologies: Plastics for a carbon negative future

16 pages
December 2015
Reference: IMD-7-1645

The Newlight Technologies case is set at the end of 2013. Newlight has been awarded the Innovation Prize for Biomaterial of the Year by nova-Institut GmbH at the Cologne International Conference on Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-based Plastics & Composites. The company has a small-scale pilot plant using enzyme catalysts to produce a bioplastic resin, PHA, which has a wide range of applications for products in the plastics industry. The pilot plant can produce enough resin to perform product trials for a number of end-users at the same time. The innovative process is the fruit of ten years’ research and the result promises to be one of the first biopolymers to be economically competitive with petro-chemical based products on price and performance. The case provides details of the global industry, giving scope and scale information for businesses along the value chain, including market segmentation and resin pricing.

Learning Objective
  • Industry analysis
  • Supply chain analysis and strategic focus (position in the supply chain, low cost/differentiation choices, market segmentation)
  • Market entry modes and timing. In a business for sustainability/environment or CSR program, additional emphasis can be placed on environmental sustainability as an element of strategy. Initiating this discussion before analysis of the supply chain will help to give focus to the subsequent discussion.
Innovation Management, Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility, Biotechnology Start-Up Company, Plastics, Greenhouse Gas, Sustainable Material
Northern America, United States of America
Newlight Technologies, Manufacturing, Biotechnology
Published Sources
© 2015
Available Languages
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Teaching note
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