Rhinelander-based American Plastics is attempting to procure a $3 million contract from the U.S. military.
If AP lands the contract, it will be developing anti-microbial, moisture- and odor-absorbent packaging for soldiers' food.
``The funds have been approved for research and development, not manufacturing,'' program manager Mark Kampf said in a recent telephone interview.
AP has spent more than a year designing a proposal in response to the Army's broad agency announcement that the military was seeking a way to make its packaging more difficult to sabotage. As a specialist in multibarrier film, AP was qualified for the task. The firm is a subsidiary of Appleton, Wis.-based Appleton Papers Inc.
``We [Appleton] designed the project with the military,'' said Justin Latham, marketing and customer service manager for C&H Packaging, also an Appleton subsidiary. But AP must bid against competitors for the military contract to do R&D on the very product the firm proposed.
``Anyone can bid against that,'' Kampf said.