29. Apr 2019

Sumitomo Chemical and Zymergen partner on development renewable specialty materials

Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical and California-based Zymergen have signed a multi-year partnership to bring new specialty materials to the market designed to meet consumer trends in high-tech industries.

mToday, electronics makers and consumers seek devices that are lighter, smaller, more battery efficient, have optimized displays, and new functionality– all at a lower cost. Electronics manufacturers are increasingly demanding next-generation materials for these next-generation electronics because the current petrochemical toolbox is limited, expensive, and difficult to manufacture.

In order to better meet these demands, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to partner with Zymergen, whose mission is to build a sustainable future through biology, to discover novel and improved molecules to bring to market competitive, high-performance, specialty materials to better serve the electronics industry and more. This partnership will leverage Zymergen’s proprietary platform which combines advances in artificial intelligence, robotic lab automation, and cutting-edge genomics, to unlock previously inaccessible sources of molecular diversity based on sustainable and renewable resources.

Sumitomo Chemical is a leading supplier to major electronics companies, with approximately 20 percent of the company’s sales revenue in IT-related chemicals. The company’s industry insight will ensure that materials meet application requirements that will drive the next generation of electronics products. Sumitomo Chemical brings access to key markets, a reputation for quality and excellence, and the applications knowledge to connect new materials to the best products.

Sumitomo Chemical and Zymergen will develop specialty materials that may include optical films for displays, hard coatings that won’t scratch, flexible electronics circuits and adhesive materials. These new materials can help make next-generation, high tech products a reality for consumers.

“We are honored to partner with Sumitomo Chemical and see this as an opportunity to drive real innovation in the consumer electronics space,” said Richard Pieters, President, Products at Zymergen. “This cooperation unites the best of both worlds with Zymergen’s expertise exploring the molecular diversity of biology to make new polymers and materials, and Sumitomo Chemical’s technology leadership in serving the most demanding markets and unique insights in next-generation materials.”

“Partnering with Zymergen combines our chemical technologies with their expertise in molecular diversity of biology that will allow us to develop high-performance materials to meet customer demand,” said Hiroshi Ueda, Vice President at Sumitomo Chemical. “Through molecular biology we will be able to deliver our customers performance capabilities not previously possible by reliably and cost-effectively engineering biology.”

Together, Sumitomo Chemical and Zymergen will work to develop new and unique materials, making the impossible possible for the electronics industry and beyond.



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