RETRN Bio Joins Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures Incubator

Scientists working

RETRN Bio Joins Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures Incubator

RETRN Bio, a company based in Syracuse that aims to replace petroleum-based plastic liners in coffee cups, takeout containers, and other consumer products with agricultural waste, recently joined the Center for Life Science Ventures, an STSA member incubator at Cornell University.

On June 1, RETRN Bio joined the incubator to advance its research and refine its business plan, with the goal of reducing the global reliance on plastic.

The incubator will provide the company with laboratory space, business-plan development support, and access to extensive campus research resources, including academic expertise.

By utilizing low-cost agricultural waste like fibrous wheat bran from breweries and excess materials from papermills, RETRN Bio creates natural, proprietary PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) polymers. These polymers are recyclable, fully biodegradable, and entirely natural. This innovative method allows the production of a versatile polymer fiber that can be tailored for various industrial and commercial applications, offering a flexible solution to meet diverse manufacturing needs.

The collaboration with Cornell’s Center for Materials Research and the JumpStart program has been crucial for RETRN Bio. Working with Juan Hinestroza and Rebecca Q. Morgan ’60 Professor of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, and his students, the company has improved techniques to transform agricultural waste streams into biodegradable polymers.

RETRN Bio aims to attract external investment and become self-sufficient, creating jobs in the life sciences and boosting economic development in New York. With the support of the Center for Life Science Ventures, RETRN Bio is scaling its lab-scale processes to industrial levels, striving to make consumer products like coffee cups and takeout containers more environmentally friendly.

Read more about RETRN Bio in the Cornell Chronicle.

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