Startup Utilizes AI to Uncover Innovative Materials

Li Nguyen
Lab worker putting medical blood sample in place after examining for sediments

GenAI Tech for Manufacturing New Materials

Orbital Materials, a startup launched by former DeepMind senior researcher Jonathan Godwin, aims to develop GenAI technology to support the manufacturing of new physical materials. Godwin was inspired by the potential to apply AI techniques to the materials sciences, drawing from the success of systems like AlphaFold, an AI from DeepMind that predicts a protein’s 3D structure from its amino acid sequence. Traditional methods of discovering new materials are time-consuming trial and error processes, often taking years to achieve success. This is where AI plays a crucial role, saving time and resources by using computations to map out potential properties and refining processes.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Crafting a new material is not an intuitive process. It requires identifying corresponding physical and chemical structures and figuring out reliable creation processes. The material must then be stress-tested in different conditions based on its intended application. While AI cannot solve all these challenges, it can significantly speed up the design process.

Godwin observed a growing demand for new advanced materials, especially as economies become electrified and de-carbonized. However, the existing methods of discovering such materials are too slow and expensive. Orbital Materials’ goal is to bridge this gap by bringing materials out of the computer into the real world.

t/f Summary: What’s Next

The company’s AI model, Linus, allows scientists to enter natural language instructions to generate 3D molecular structures that meet specific criteria. While not perfect, Linus has successfully developed a filter for capturing carbon dioxide from the air, and the startup plans to introduce more details soon.

Despite being based in London, Orbital Materials aims to bring new materials to the proof of concept phase and then seek partnerships with other manufacturers. The company recently raised $16 million in a Series A round to expand its data science and lab teams with the goal of designing and commercializing advanced materials.

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By Li Nguyen “TF Emerging Tech”
Liam ‘Li’ Nguyen is a persona characterized by his deep involvement in the world of emerging technologies and entrepreneurship. With a Master's degree in Computer Science specializing in Artificial Intelligence, Li transitioned from academia to the entrepreneurial world. He co-founded a startup focused on IoT solutions, where he gained invaluable experience in navigating the tech startup ecosystem. His passion lies in exploring and demystifying the latest trends in AI, blockchain, and IoT
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