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Business Roundup

April 30, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 16

DuPont says it will invest $20 million in the Black Economic Development Fund, which supports Black-led financial institutions and other organizations. DuPont says the investment is in keeping with its 2030 sustainability goals.

Merck KGaA will spend $24 million to enhance and expand R&D and manufacturing activities at its semiconductor and display materials site in Shizuoka, Japan. Merck expects to complete the project by January 2022.

Carbios has signed a nonbinding agreement with an unnamed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer to deploy Carbios’s technology for enzymatically breaking down PET into raw materials. Carbios says the pact will allow it to move forward on a European plant, possibly on the partner’s site.

Lubrizol is teaming up with plant-based hydrocarbon specialist Advonex on replacements for silicone-based beauty ingredients. Financial details were not disclosed for the deal, which continues Lubrizol’s move toward biobased ingredients.

Sun Chemical, a subsidiary of Japan’s DIC, has come out with a manganese-based curing agent for alkyd coatings and inks. The ingredient can displace cobalt compounds, which are toxic and subject to wide price fluctuations.

Kebotix, an artificial intelligence specialist focused on materials discovery, has formed a discovery partnership with Bayer. The two firms will target accelerated synthesis of new crop protection molecules.

Solugen, the developer of a biotech process for making hydrogen peroxide and other industrial chemicals, has secured an investment from the Singapore state-owned firm Temasek. Solugen says the money will help it establish R&D and production in Southeast Asia.

Materials Zone, a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) for materials discovery, has raised $6 million in series A funding. Materials Zone applies AI and machine learning to R&D and manufacturing data in sectors including energy storage, renewables, and nanomaterials.



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