Skip to content


Development of the Materia technology began nearly twenty years ago in the laboratories of Caltech, where Professor Robert Grubbs synthesized the world’s first broadly applicable, user-friendly olefin metathesis catalysts. Since that genesis, Dr. Grubbs’ technology has continued to advance, generating increasing levels of excitement about its industrial potential. Today, our catalysts deliver significant economic and environmental benefits in a range of markets.

Key milestones in our history:

Professor Grubbs synthesizes the world’s first well defined ruthenium-based metathesis catalyst.

Materia is founded to commercialize metathesis-based materials for practical applications such as sporting goods.

The Company exclusively licenses Professor Grubbs’ core olefin metathesis patent estate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Materia exclusively licenses complementary metathesis catalyst technology from Boston College.

The Company executes a catalyst distribution agreement with the world’s largest research chemical distributor, Sigma Aldrich.

Materia executes a joint development agreement with Cargill to produce value-added chemicals from vegetable-derived industrial oils. The partners receive a $3.8M matching grant from the US Department of Energy.

The Company licenses intellectual property to Bayer Material Science AG (later spun off as Lanxess) for the production and sale of a specialty material.

Materia acquires physical and intellectual property assets from Cymetech including broad rights to use the Grubbs catalysts in the production of poly-DCPD.

Professor Robert Grubbs shares the Nobel Prize for his olefin metathesis work.

Materia licenses complementary metathesis catalyst technology from the University of New Orleans.

The Materia / Cargill joint venture is incorporated and independently financed as Elevance Renewable Sciences.

Key US patent #7,329,758 issues, which covers the 2nd Generation Grubbs catalyst systems. These high-efficiency catalysts enable ruthenium-based metathesis chemistry to progress from specialty to commodity applications.

The Company licenses technology to BASF for use in specialty chemical development.

Elevance announces a joint venture to make high performance chemicals in a world-scale biorefinery (400-800 million pounds) using Materia’s catalysts.

Materia establishes a subsidiary in Singapore to operate a catalyst manufacturing and R&D facility in response to growing global industrial demand for its Grubbs catalyst technology.