NOVI, Mich.—Cooper Standard capped 2019 with the signing of three new technology agreements that will help it achieve its aim of diversifying target markets outside the automotive industry. Of the agreements, all of which pertain to the supply of elastomeric materials to manufacturers, two were signed with consumer goods companies. A third was signed with an industrial goods firm.
The deals bring the total number of the technology agreements signed in 2019 to six.
Under the agreements, the unnamed partners and Cooper Standard jointly will develop commercial applications of the company's Fortrex platform. Fortrex is a lightweight, elastomeric material platform developed through Cooper Standard's i3 innovation program. The compound is claimed to offer significant performance advantages over various synthetic rubbers, thermoplastic vulcanizates and other materials in areas such as weight reduction, compression set, weathering and durability.
"We are pleased with the continued growth and evolution of our Advanced Technology Group into diverse markets outside of the automotive industry," Jeffrey Edwards, Cooper Standard chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Cooper Standard established ATG in 2018 with the goal of advancing the company's core process types for applications in the industrial and specialty markets. Integrating acquired businesses Lauren Manufacturing and Lauren Plastics, the unit specializes in applied materials science offerings.
"Interest in our materials science business is growing as we continue to execute our strategy to maximize diversification opportunities," ATG President Jeffrey DeBest said.
In addition to materials licensing, Cooper Standard also supplies custom-formulated Fortrex material compounds and converted products.
With first material orders anticipated in 2021, Cooper Standard expects the material supply business model to be "highly complementary" to its traditional product manufacturing business.