Technological watch

Xampla & 2M Group of Companies awarded Innovate UK Smart Grant

  • Innovate UK’s Smart Grant will facilitate collaborative R&D with Xampla and the 2M Group of companies, positioning both as world leaders in sustainable packaging technologies.
  • The grant will support Xampla’s partnership with the 2M Group of Companies, in order to scale up production at its Milton Keynes manufacturing site
  • By 2031, Morro materials could replace up to 10,000 tonnes of single-use plastic coatings and one million kilometres of plastic coated paperboard
Next-generation materials company, Xampla, has been awarded the Innovate UK Smart Grant alongside 2M Group of Companies to support scaled up manufacturing of its natural, biodegradable Morro materials.

The grant will support the existing European partnership between Xampla and 2M Group of Companies to bring its Milton Keynes manufacturing site up to a Morro production capacity of multiple tonnes per day.

2M Group of Companies has significant expertise in chemical manufacturing, supply, and distribution.  The funds will support the group to service the packaging industry with Morro materials, delivering value to its broad customer network in the material and life science industries.

Globally, three million tonnes of petroleum-based, non-biodegradable functional and barrier coatings for single-use paperboard packaging are produced each year. This contaminates paperboard recycling streams, and is frequently incinerated or dumped in landfill, resulting in release into the environment.

Morro Coating is a high performing, drop-in plant-based replacement for these traditional petroleum-based coatings. Fully biodegradable and home compostable, it is safe for food contact and offers high strength, grease, and oxygen barrier properties.

By 2031 Morro materials could replace up to 10,000 tonnes of single-use plastic coatings and one million kilometres of plastic-coated paperboard, otherwise destined for landfill, incineration, or environmental release, per year.

This new funding will not only accelerate the commercialisation of Morro materials but increase the UK’s self-sufficiency in biomanufacturing supply chain – creating jobs, driving regulatory change, and meeting the public demand for plastic-free solutions.

“We are proud to be awarded this grant from Innovate UK, in collaboration with 2M Group of Companies, to accelerate Morro materials’ next phase of commercialisation and position ourselves as world leaders in sustainable packaging.”

“Our partnership will support Morro Coating’s route to market by unlocking critical in-kind support from key customers and enabling access to 2M Group of Companies’ world-leading expertise in manufacturing and distribution.”- Alexandra French  CEO of Xampla Ltd 

“Being awarded the Innovate Smart grant is a fantastic recognition and demonstrates the importance of how industry and new technology can help build a better world for tomorrow.”

“We see huge potential with Xampla’s technology and the Morro brand and are excited at the opportunity it presents to support the transformation of our portfolio to more sustainable technologies and to add further value to our customers.”

“Xampla has already received funding from UK Research & Innovation and Innovate UK through the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge.” Mottie Kessler OBE  Chair and CEO of the 2M Group 

“It is incredibly exciting to see Xampla’s innovative material moving into the commercialisation stage and the new partnership with 2M Group of Companies to scale up production. The SSPP Challenge aims to change our relationship with plastic packaging and Xampla and its Morro brand, working with 2M Group of Companies, have the potential to do just that.” – Paul Davidson  Challenge Director at Innovate UK 

Publication date: 29/01/2024

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.