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Carnegie Mellon University wins grant to improve cosmetics technology

By Michelle Yeomans , 05-Feb-2013
Last updated on 05-Feb-2013 at 17:31 GMT2013-02-05T17:31:26Z

Carnegie Mellon University wins grant to improve cosmetics technology

ATRP Solutions, a spin out of Carnegie Mellon University has won $2.6 million in federal grants to help it commercialize technology that could make it less expensive and easier to make cosmetics, shampoo and other personal care products.

The company, which develops polymer materials for the personal care industry, recently won both a Phase IIB SBIR and a new Phase I SBIR award from the National Science Foundation for its work on the ‘Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization’ technology.

We recognize that the National Science Foundation has a highly selective due diligence process which makes these awards extremely competitive. We are honored to be chosen as a recipient by the NSF,” says CEO Patrick McCarthy.

These awards combined, represent a potential $2.6 million of grant funding of which the company has already received $1.1 million.

Beneficial for the industry

The Phase IIB award, is the final installment of the company’s first NSF SBIR grant, and will be used to manufacture ATRP's flagship ingredient, Advantomer, an active that enables emulsifier-free formulations to produce a uniquely luxurious feel.

The NSF’s SBIR program has a sharp focus on identifying companies with strong teams who can bring products and technologies to commercialization that could have a transformational societal impact," says McCarthy.

The second award the company received, 'Phase I SBIR' is directed towards the development of a new class of ingredients for shampoos and other surfactant systems.

This grant enables us to prove that our technology platform can replace PEG-based products in the personal care market. Just like the technology platform protecting Advantomer, we will be able to target this technology into other adjacent markets too,” explains Laura Jakubowski, scientist at ATRP Solutions.

Innovation in polymer technology

Back when ATRP Solutions was founded in 2006, the company representitive says cost-effective manufacturing was limited to a couple of grams, but now with the development of its' Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) technology, they reckon they have made it possible to manufacture in a more efficient way.

The technology changed the way we thought about preparing polymer-based ingredients. It made it possible for us to create very precise polymers with completely new properties, but, we could only make a couple of grams. It was similar to being able to make gold dust,” Jakubowski explains.

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