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Energy & Sustainability Client Feature — Copernic Catalysts

This month, we are thrilled to feature Copernic Catalysts. Copernic develops transformational chemical catalysts through computational design and high-throughput experimentation to reduce the energy use and carbon footprint of bulk chemical reactions. Bulk chemicals, such as ammonia, are produced at very large scales, often up to hundreds of millions of tons annually, and are responsible for nearly one gigaton of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions every year. Copernic is looking to maximize the economic and environmental impacts of catalysts in the chemical industry by developing novel catalysts for zero- and low-carbon ammonia and e-fuels to significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with hard-to-abate industries.

Copernic recently announced its groundbreaking four-year research collaboration with Schrödinger, Inc. This exclusive partnership aims to accelerate the discovery and development of sustainable catalysts, particularly for applications in ammonia and e-fuels. By combining Copernic's expertise in catalyst design and scale-up with Schrödinger's cutting-edge technology platform, the collaboration seeks to revolutionize the energy and chemical industries, driving faster and more energy-efficient chemical reactions and advancing the crucial process of decarbonization.

To date, Copernic has secured $7 million in funding, demonstrating its commitment to transforming the industry. This funding includes a seed round led by Engine Ventures and Future Ventures, along with a prestigious $3.5 million ARPA-E OPEN grant from the US Department of Energy. Copernic's collaboration with Schrödinger builds upon a prior agreement where Schrödinger provided modeling support. This initial collaboration successfully condensed decades of research into a streamlined two-year effort, resulting in an improved drop-in replacement catalyst for zero- and low-carbon ammonia synthesis.

Accelerating catalyst discovery will “fundamentally change how the hundred-year-old energy and chemical industries innovate and will significantly impact decarbonization,” emphasizes Jacob Grose, CEO and Co-founder of Copernic. The collaboration with Schrödinger empowers Copernic to integrate computational technology, including physics-based simulation and machine learning, into their high-throughput experimentation, enabling the exploration, discovery, and development of rapidly scalable, cost-effective catalysts for zero-carbon chemicals and e-fuels.

As Copernic Catalysts continues to spearhead advancements in research and innovation, their commitment to economic and environmental impacts remains steadfast. Copernic Catalysts is propelling the chemical industry towards a greener and more sustainable future. Congratulations to Jacob Grose, Aruna Ramkrishnan, and the entire Copernic team!


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Sahir Surmeli

Member / Co-chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Sahir Surmeli is a Mintz business counselor who advises companies, boards, entrepreneurs, investment banks, and venture and private equity investors as they build and grow companies. He handles public offerings, 144A and private financings, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships.