While everyone is trying to figure out how artificial intelligence can be used in different industries, the French startup Osium AI found an interesting use cases for AI – research and development in materials science.
Founded by Sarah Najmark and Luisa Bouneder, the startup raised a $2.6 million seed round from Y Combinator, Singular, Kima Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Raise Phiture and several business angels (Julien Chaumond, Thomas Clozel, Isaac Oates, Liz Wessel , Ebert Hera Group , Patrick Joubert, Sequoia Scout and Atomico Angel).
“During my undergrad, I researched materials, particularly in the field of cosmetics. And I see that materials development methods are very manual, with a lot of trial and error and a lot of methods that rely on intuition,” Sarah Najmark told me.
After graduation, he joined Google X, the moonshot division of the giant tech company, and spent three years working on robotics and deep tech technologies. He has co-authored several patents.
“I’m the technology lead, so I have ownership of end-to-end artificial intelligence pipelines in robotics and systems engineering subjects,” he said.
As for his co-founder Luisa Bouneder, he spent three years working on data products for industrial companies, and especially in the material field. He also noted that there was a lot of trial and error that slowed down the development process.
“In discussions with many companies in the industry, we also know that there are really new challenges involved in sustainability, with the development of new materials: lighter materials – materials for aeronautics, for example – but more durable, environmentally friendly materials, with optimized and greener manufacturing processes,” said Najmark.
“This is a topic that really affects all kinds of industries, including construction, packaging, aeronautics, aerospace, textiles and smartphones,” he added later in the conversation.
So how does Osium AI actually work? It’s all about optimizing the feedback loop between formulating materials and testing using a data-driven approach. With the startup’s proprietary tech, industrial companies can predict the physical properties of new materials based on a list of criteria. After that, Osium AI can also help refine and optimize new materials while avoiding common mistakes associated with trial and error.
Many industrial companies are already testing the Osium AI solution and they see the potential. “Our users have found that our solution enables them to speed up the development and analysis of materials by a factor of 10. So from the start of our testing, we have seen that we bring value, ” said Najmark.
In many ways, Osium AI is just getting started. There are only two people working for the company (the two co-founders) so the startup will soon increase its team and start making these tests in the industry with the right contracts.