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Partnering to Make Metathesis a Commercial Reality
By: Rachel Grabenhofer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: August 12, 2013
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“All of our collaborations are focused on targeted areas,” explained Shafer. “For our work with Stepan Company, it's surfactants; with Arkema, it's polymers. [Collaborations] are a trend in R&D, and we have taken on this partnership model to leverage our capabilities with others—up and down the supply chain.” He added that by doing so, the total becomes greater than the sum of its individual parts. “We combine molecules so that 1 + 1 = 3. By collaborating, we can map out where consumer needs are, then tap into the technologies we need to create new building blocks to fill the gaps.”
In turn, this also increases speed to market. “One [partner] may have the technology while the other can reach the global market,” said Shafer, “and we have collaborations around the world.”
In January 2011, work began on finding ways to do just that, so with its olefin metathesis and market expertise, Elevance collaborated with XiMo AG, a company specialized on the development of another generation of metathesis catalysts. Together, they tested more than 40 catalysts using various natural oil feedstocks to evaluate efficiencies. They found their answer in molybdenum-based catalysts. Work developing these catalysts continues, and Elevance expects to make this technology a commercial reality soon, too.