Building a Sustainable Future: Atacama Biomaterials Journey to Eco-friendly Innovation

Atacama Biomaterials, a startup that combines architecture, machine learning, and chemical engineering, is creating eco-friendly materials with a variety of applications. Co-founder Paloma Gonzalez-Rojas has emphasized MIT’s support for the project and the role of design in building a holistic vision for the business.

Significance of Atacama Biomaterials
Atacama Biomaterials is committed to advancing sustainable materials through cutting-edge technology. With their technology, they can create their own data and material library using artificial intelligence and machine learning. This platform is applicable to various industries, producing inexpensive, regionally sourced, and environmentally friendly bio-based polymers and packaging, including naturally compostable plastics.

Motivation for founding Atacama Biomaterials
Paloma is from Chile, a country that faces challenges with industry, waste management, and pollution. Her dedication to sustainability and desire to address these problems led to the creation of Atacama Biomaterials.

Atacama’s Process for Developing New Biomaterials
Paloma’s background in material development and molecular dynamics led her to apply machine learning and molecular engineering to create eco-friendly materials. Atacama is targeting a 16.7 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with the manufacturing process of its polymers, through the use of renewable energy.

Role of MITdesignX in Atacama’s Development
MITdesignX provided vital support and mentorship to Atacama Biomaterials, helping them develop a holistic perspective on sustainable material development. The program allowed them to reflect on who they wanted to be as designers, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

Atacama’s Approach to Scaling
Atacama has proven the demand for the materials they are developing and are now ready to scale. They have received pre-seed funding and are sustainably scaling by repurposing machinery from the paper industry and evaluating the building of a factory in Chile and an R&D lab and manufacturing plant in the U.S.

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