Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool out there that could speed up the product development for the next generation of materials and chemicals? Just imagine newer metals, plastics and glass at our fingertips.
Well, you don’t have to look any further, as a Redwood, California-based materials informatics startup, Citrine Informatics, has just the ticket with its award-winning materials informatics platform for data-driven materials and chemicals development.
Founded in 2013 by Greg Mulholland, Bryce Meredig and Kyle Michel, the startup’s Citrine Platform employs a combination of smart materials data infrastructure and AI to accelerate the development of cutting-edge materials, facilitate product portfolio optimization and codify research IP, enabling its reuse and preventing its loss. And if you don’t believe the platform is up to much, the company won the 2017 World Materials Forum Startup Challenge, the 2018 AI Breakthrough award as the “Best AI-based Solution for Manufacturing,” and 2020–2021 Cleantech 100 honours whilst a customer base that can gloat Panasonic, Michelin and LANXESS means Citrine Informatics is the real deal.
The magic in the platform, which was launched in August 2020, is its ability to empower product developers, scientists and data managers to utilize state-of-the-art ML and data management technology to drive materials and chemical development forward with the use of an intuitive interface and can solve a number of pain points.
These include, but are not limited to, the following solutions:
• Reducing the number of experiments needed to develop new materials
• Quickly exploring millions of potential compositions or systems of compositions
• Understanding complex process flows and polymeric formulations
• Building custom search spaces from sets of molecules and combination rules
• Efficiently tackling high-dimensional problems
• Helping application engineers quickly find out if target properties are possible
• Rapidly adapting recipes to hit new target properties
• Facilitating the discovery of multiple alternative approaches to achieving customer goals at different price points and performance levels
• Capturing domain knowledge in the form of data, featurizers, search spaces, and AI Models
• Helping new scientists easily browse historical experiments and explore how others have modelled property relationships
• Enabling new product developers to propose and predict new materials in a fast, low-risk way
• Condensing years in the lab into days of exploration
On the platform, Raphael Stargrove, VP of Product Strategy at Citrine Informatics, said at the launch:
“Speed to market and rapid customization are critical success factors in the materials and chemicals industry. Fast product development cycles are pushing the materials industry to constantly adapt their products to specific applications while accounting for shifting supply chains and regulatory environments. Innovative companies have invested in the Citrine Platform to create an internal AI capability and differentiate themselves in the market. We are also seeing customers increase the speed at which they develop sustainable materials and chemicals, and shaping how their scientists and business leaders learn from past R&D work.”
With several use-cases presented as case study reviews on the company’s website, the proof is in the pudding that Citrine Informatics’ data and ML for materials design software is the way to go for those wishing to accelerate the discovery, manufacturing and design of exciting and cutting-edge advanced materials. The money the startup has amassed through VC channels — some $48 million over five rounds — will help it achieve even more.
Of the three original Citrine Informatics co-founders, only two are actively involved in the day-to-day running of the startup.
Greg Mulholland is Citrine Informatics’ CEO. In addition to his role at Citrine, Mulholland works with startups and mature companies as an advisor around digital transformation, innovation, and go-to-market strategies. As part of this effort, Mulholland has been an invited speaker at the White House, the European Commission, and at numerous trade and research conferences and has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications and patents.
Mulholland earned his MBA from Stanford and MPhil in Materials Science from the University of Cambridge.
A materials scientist dedicated to productizing new advanced materials faster than has ever been done before, in application areas ranging from catalysis to energy storage to structural alloys, Bryce Meredig is the CSO at Citrine Informatics.
He obtained a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering and Northwestern an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Let us hope Mulholland, Meredig and their team’s combined expertise, strengthened by the investors on board that include AME Cloud, B&C Holdings, DCVC, Innovation Endeavors, Prelude Ventures, Tencent Holdings, and XSeed Capital along with meaningful partnerships with universities, national labs and consortia such as Carnegie Mellon University, the Colorado School of Mines, NIST, and UC Berkeley, bring about good fortune and success for the company in the long term.