Ecopol, an Italian developer and producer of biodegradable films and delivery systems, says it completed an investment in JRF Technology, a leading developer of water-soluble polymer and edible-film technology.
Terms of the investment by Tuscany, Italy-based Ecopol were not disclosed.
Founded in 2007 and based in Tampa, JRF is research-and-development firm focused exclusively on water-soluble polymer and edible film technology. JRF officials say the investment will inject capital into the R&D firm.
JRF says it has clients ranging from leading multinational consumer goods companies to startups. The company converts water-soluble polymers into commercial products for such things as wound care or enriching flour.
The company's website says it can supply packages of vitamin blends weighing as much as one kilogram, which are then used in the baking industry in the making of bread: "The entire package is dropped into the bread dough."
JRF says it will continue to be led by President James Rossman and Managing Director Richard Fielder. JRF will serve as Ecopol's U.S. R&D Center of Excellence, "complementing its R&D capabilities in Italy," Ecopol officials say.
Ecopol CEO Mauro Carbone says he believes the polymers "will experience significant tailwinds for adoption as brand owners and consumers seek more sustainable and innovative products."
Ecopol says that since 2019, it has invested more than $65 million to enhance laundry applications and to fund a new production facility in Griffin, Georgia, to serve the North American market.
Ecopol is in partnership with SK Capital Partners, which made an investment to acquire a majority stake in Ecopol in September.