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Johnson Matthey and Kebotix in partnership for AI-enabled R&D projects

| By Mary Bailey

Johnson Matthey plc (JM; London) and Kebotix, a U.S.-based technology platform company for new chemicals and materials, announced an agreement to explore developing the next generation of coatings for catalytic converters.

The project will support JM’s digital strategy, and help to bring the company to the forefront of digital R&D. Kebotix’s lab-of-the-future AI capabilities has the potential to enhance JM’s digital transformation in the chemical industry.

The collaboration will seek to discover innovative methods to increase the efficiency of experiments leading to the optimisation of catalytic converter coating formulations. Reducing the number of experiments is expected to lead to faster improvements. Scientists can use the predictions as a virtual catalyst design lab and validate their design choices to avoid spending unnecessary experimental resources on suboptimal designs. The project will employ Kebotix’s ChemOS Pro technology, developing machine learning models via the company’s proprietary active learning optimisation algorithms.

The new partnership will build on JM’s commitment to deliver science-led solutions that reduce emissions from industry and vehicles. JM’s technologies have averted over 40 tonnes of pollutants from entering the air every minute for the past half-century.

“Joining forces with Kebotix strengthens JM’s long-standing commitment to create a cleaner and healthier world developing cost competitive next generation catalyst solutions.” said Chris Bennett, JM’s Technology Director. “We hope this opportunity to advance catalytic design by reducing greenhouse gases and other environmentally damaging pollutants leads to other opportunities to tap into Kebotix’s AI, ChemOS Pro and entire innovative portfolio.”

Kebotix, headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., also subscribes to the principle that controlling emissions at the source is an essential part of improving air quality.

“Our tools will learn from Johnson Matthey’s institutional data and use the lessons learned to predict better-performing catalysts,” said Christoph Kreisbeck, Kebotix chief commercial officer. “Kebotix’s AI will augment JM’s current approach by providing new ideas for better designs that will enable JM scientists to develop higher-performing products.”