We Have a Proud History as the Enablers of Innovation

Our History

The history of Materia began in the laboratories of Caltech over twenty years ago when Professor Robert H. Grubbs synthesized the world’s first broadly applicable, user-friendly olefin metathesis catalyst. The technology is one of the most important breakthroughs in modern chemistry, enabling significant industrial and commercial developments across a broad range of markets.

In partnership with Caltech and Dr. Grubbs, Materia continues to advance the Grubbs Catalyst® technology and the advanced materials based on this technology to solve complex global and business challenges, driving major economic and environmental benefits.


Dr. Robert H. Grubbs synthesizes the world’s first well-defined ruthenium olefin metathesis catalyst.


Materia is officially founded to commercialize metathesis-based materials for practical, commercial applications, initially in sporting goods.


Materia exclusively licenses Dr. Grubbs’ core olefin metathesis patent estate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).


Adding to our technology portfolio, Materia exclusively licenses complementary metathesis catalyst technology from Boston College.


Materia enters into a distribution agreement with Sigma-Aldrich, the world’s largest research chemical distributor, to provide Materia’s customers with metathesis catalysts for research and development.

Materia and Cargill enter into a joint venture to produce value-added chemicals from renewable natural oils. The U.S. Department of Energy awards them a $3.8 million matching grant to further grow the joint venture.


Materia acquires physical and intellectual property assets from Cymetech, including broad rights to use the Grubbs Catalyst technology in the production of polydicyclopentadiene (pDCPD).


Dr. Grubbs is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking discoveries in olefin metathesis, along with Dr. Richard Schrock and Yves Chauvin.


Materia expands its market position in metathesis technologies, licensing complementary metathesis catalyst technology from the University of New Orleans.


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

A key US patent, #7,329,758, is issued, covering our 2nd Generation Grubbs Catalyst systems. These high-efficiency catalysts enable ruthenium metathesis chemistry to progress from use in specialty to commodity applications.


Using Materia’s catalysts, Elevance enters a joint venture to manufacture high performance chemicals with plans to build the world’s largest biorefinery with a production capacity of 400 million pounds, and scalable to 800 million pounds.


Materia receives a Phase I Fast Track Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of reagents and scavengers for use in high-throughput chemistry.


Materia receives a Phase II Fast Track STTR grant from the NIH to continue development of functional polymers for use in organic synthesis.

Materia extends our catalyst distribution agreement with Sigma-Aldrich for an additional 10 years, enabling Sigma-Aldrich to distribute Materia’s Grubbs Catalyst technology for research and development.


The first commercial drug using Materia’s Grubbs Catalyst technology is launched. The drug cures Hepatitis C.


The US Department of Energy awards Materia a $2 million grant to apply Proxima® thermoset resin technology toward hydrogen storage tank manufacture to demonstrate that Proxima resins can lower the weight and cost of hydrogen tanks by decreasing the amount of carbon fiber used.


Materia sells the Grubbs Catalyst® technology to Umicore.