ISURF finalizes licensing agreement with Iowa-based wax company

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University Research Foundation (ISURF) has finalized a licensing agreement for a novel soy-based wax process with SoyaWax International, a Cedar Rapids company.
Soy-based candles have been manufactured for a long time, but until now, the wax in those candles was either too soft or brittle and crumbly, according to Tong Wang, associate professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University and inventor of the new wax technology.
Wang found a way to make a better soy-based wax by changing the internal structure of this soy material. This new technology may have significant economic and environmental benefits that led to a patent application filed and owned by ISURF.
Licensing of intellectual property by ISURF to qualified Iowa-based companies contributes to economic development in the state.
"ISURF is constantly working to get ISU-developed technology to the market," said Renate Hippen of Iowa State University's Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. "And when we work with an Iowa company, it has the potential to contribute to economic development of the state."
Michael Richards, founder and president of SoyaWax International, who initiated soy wax development in 1993, thinks the new soy-based wax will be in great demand for candles and packaging applications.
"The wax industry uses about 10 billion pounds each year," said Richards. "Fifty percent of that is used for candles and another 30 percent on coating for corrugated boxes and other packaging materials."
Richards says the new soy-based wax can be an earth-friendly substitute in both of those industries.
ISURF's mission is to establish mutually beneficial agreements and relationships with Iowa-based companies that are capable of development and commercialization of university technologies that will benefit both the university and the public. The ISURF office serves as the university's primary source of knowledge on intellectual property.