Ohio Soybean Industry Sees Bright Future with UniKeep Binder


The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) hosts one Ohio Soy 2020 forum each year with a specific theme in mind.  At the forum on August 31, 2009, the theme was soy-based bioproducts.  On this day, presentations and group discussions were focused on soybeans and their future as a feedstock for the bioproducts industry.


Attendees of the forums usually received a notepad or other giveaway but the opportunity to put a locally made bioproduct into the hands of attendees was intriguing.


Prior to the forum, funded by the OSC, Battelle had developed a process to combine soybean meal and plastics, creating a soy-based polymer.  The agricultural plastic was tested using Univenture‘s patented UniKeep design and injection molding process.  A binder was produced using the agricultural plastic, affirming commerical success.  The collaboration resulted in an R&D 100 award for their combined efforts.


Battelle scientists have devloped an innovative method and technology of using agricultural co-products to reduce the use of petroleum based products.  Univenture has been a strategic resource for us to be able to demonstrate the commercial success of our soy-based polymer and to produce a marketable commodity such as the UniKeep Binder,” commented Barry McGraw, Battelle’s Program Manager.


“The UniKeep Case Binder by Univenture, Inc. came immediately to mind when we were planning this year’s forum, due to the recent announcement that Battelle, OSC, and Univenture had received an R&D 100 award for the soy-based polymer that was used to create the binder,” said Kirk Merritt, OSC director of international marketing and Ohio Soy 2020 project manager.  “The binder was a perfect example of how a soy-based, environmentally friendly product can be developed and brought to industry and the marketplace.”


“It’s great to know that there are companies in the state like Univenture who are working to put bioproducts out there in the market.” 

-Keith Kemp, OSC Chairman and Soybean Farmer from Preble County


Univenture provided their patented, one-inch UniKeep Case Binder made from soy meal polymer, a byproduct of soybeans.  The binder was digitally printed with the OSC and Ohio Soy 2020 logos on the front of the binder.

“The final product was fantastic,” said Merritt.  “The binders exceeded our expectations as far as print quality of the logos, and the Univenture staff has been excellent to work with.  From the planning process to the delivery of the final products, we couldn’t have asked for more.”


The soy binders, as well as the manufacturer, were mentioned during a presentation and discussion in which a Univenture representative participated.  Each attendee at the forum went home with a soy binder.


“When the binders were highlighted as soy-based and produced by Univenture right here in Ohio, attendees were obviously impressed,” said Rocky Black, OSC director of bioproducts utilization and outreach.  “Many came up to OSC staff and commented on the quality of the binders, and how impressed they were that a bioproduct like this could be developed and produced in this state–proof that Ohio could be a true leader in the growing bioproducts industry.”


“The fact that Univenture was able to take the soy-based polymer developed by Battelle and seamlessly incorporate it into the manufacturing process is a testament to the viability of this product, and the future of soy-based bioproducts.”

-John Lumpe, OSC Executive Director


Collaborative efforts, such as the hard work that went into the creation of this soy binder are encouraging the Ohio soybean industry of the strength position it holds in feeding the world’s needs for soy products.


Black commented on the outcome of the soy binder, “The UniKeep binder from Univenture is the perfect example of how Ohio can be a leader in research, development and manufacturing of the bioproducts that consumers want.”


About Ohio Soybean Council

Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a 17-member volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program.  The program’s primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development, marketing, promotion, and educational projects through the investment of farmer-contributed funds.


About Soy 2020

Soy 2020 is a national strategic planning initiative that looks at different scenarios, or possible futures, for the soybean industry up to the year 2020.  Its purpose is to bring together stakeholders from throughtout the soybean industry value-chain to create a vision for success.

In 2007, the Ohio Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff launched Ohio Soy 2020, the first, statewide Soy 2020 strategic planning initiative focused on the future success of the Ohio soybean industry.


About Battelle

Battelle is the world’s largest non-profit independent research and development organization, providing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management, National Security, Energy Technology, and Health & Life Sciences.  It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $5.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization.  Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 20,400 employees in more than 130 cities worldwide, including seven national laboratories that Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and two international laboratories–a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom and a renewable energy lab in Malaysia.  Battelle is also one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts fosucing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science and math education.


About Univenture

Univenture has been designing and manufacturing media packaging for leading companies in the entertainment, software and publishing industries since 1988.  The dedicated focus of the Univenture team has resulted in numerous industry awards and accolades for its innovation, commitment to customers and sales growth.  Globally anticipating and meeting customer needs, Univenture has sales and manufacturing operations in Marysville, Ohio; Reno, Nevada; Dublin, Ireland; and Shenzhen, China.

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