By 2024, Chicago-based Mattiq – a newly launched company which has secured $15 million in seed funding – will have synthesised and analysed more than one trillion novel material combinations within the context of real-world industrial systems.
Mattiq develops new chemical systems at an unprecedented speed and scale with the goals of producing e-chemicals and e-fuels with reduced dependence on scarce and expensive materials, such as iridium. At the same time, it seeks to reduce supply chain volatility and carbon footprint in the chemical and energy industries, envisaging a circular economy in which products – from plastics to jet fuel – are made only from renewable feedstocks and electricity.
Born out of the Northwestern University lab of material scientist and professor Chad Mirkin, Mattiq’s first-in-kind ‘chemistry for climate’ platform pairs nanotechnology with AI to speed the discovery and deployment of new materials to power the energy transition.
Mirkin, a nanotechnology pioneer, has already helped develop more than 2,000 commercial products in life sciences, biomedicine, biotechnology, 3D printing, nanofabrication and semiconductor processing, and is founding director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University, where Mattiq was incubated.
“From the stone age to the silicon era, materials discovery has been slow, unpredictable and constrained by the performance of available materials,” he says. “Mattiq is disrupting this status quo, resulting in discoveries that enable new technologies at a pace not previously imaginable.”
By synthesising and evaluating millions of potential combinations in parallel, Mattiq’s integrated technology platform streamlines the historically fragmented development of novel materials powering a variety of products and solutions. At the same time, the work generates unprecedented amounts of high quality data that is enabling Mattiq to build the world’s most powerful materials AI.
Weteran Silicon Valley executive and entrepreneur Jeff Erhardt, co-founder of Material Impact which led the seed finding, is the new Mattiq CEO.
“At Material Impact, we seek startups with the potential to transform industries through category-creating deep technologies,” he says. “With momentum in the energy transition constrained by the availability and performance of fundamental materials, Mattiq’s unique approach presents an opportunity of immeasurable value in the clean economy.
“Solutions to the materials bottleneck must meet skyrocketing demand while also reducing the ‘green premium’ so that climate technologies can be scaled in commercially viable ways. Mattiq’s discoveries will make possible technologies that today can only be imagined.”