Chemistry Institute licences catalyst IP to spin-off

Ljubljana, 31 May - The Chemistry Institute signed a licensing agreement on Monday with the spin-off company ReCatalyst, set up recently to develop and market an innovative method of making catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells. The agreement will allow the company to use and market intellectual property and obtain seed capital and first clients.

ReCatalyst is based on the innovations that one of its founders and a majority owner, Matija Gatalo, has co-developed at the Chemistry Institute.

The intellectual property that the company is now allowed to use includes two patent applications and the know-how for a new method of producing catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells.

According to the Chemistry Institute, the technology solves a key problem of hydrogen fuel cells, which are expected to be an important element in the transition to carbon neutral transport.

Platinum used for catalysis in hydrogen fuel cells is rare and expensive. ReCatalyst solved this problem with an innovative nanotechnological procedure in which a catalyst is made using half of the normal amount of platinum while maintaining the same efficiency of the fuel cell.

The company's goal is to eventually reduce to use of platinum to the same amount that is used in internal combustion engines, where platinum along and other precious metals are used to clean exhaust gases.

According to Gatalo, the most important contribution of ReCatalyst will be breaking ground for other researchers with breakthrough ideas. "The path from such an idea to a spin-off from research institutions in the Slovenian ecosystem is all but simple," said Gatalo, who incorporated ReCatalyst with Toma┼ż Bizjak.

The spin-off will enable the Chemistry Institute to transfer breakthrough technology into a company, which in turn will have access to the institute's facilities and legal counselling.

The institute's director Gregor Anderluh said the licencing agreement, the third in the last four years, showed that "we have successfully set the strategy for the transfer of know-how in practice".