Finding ways to computationally predict the physical-chemical properties of organic molecules is a cornerstone of biomolecular and environmental sciences, and there can be little doubt chemical theory and molecular simulation are challenging problems for the pharmaceutical industry with its efforts in novel drug design.
In some way, the advent of quantum computers and the quantum mechanics behind it gives hope to experts in this area that we are very close to a new dawn.
Hafnium Labs, a Copenhagen-based startup founded in 2016, develops software that provides physical property data for molecules and mixtures by combining quantum chemistry and AI.
Towards a digital future in chemistry
— Hafnium Labs
Hafnium Labs Q-props™
The key to all this is Hafnium Labs’ Q-props™ tools which have been designed to “support decision making from molecular discovery to process optimization” through the five stages of:
— Molecular discovery
— Process design
— Troubleshooting and optimization
The startup’s founders, Jon Christensen, Bjørn Maribo-Mogensen and Rasmus Lundsgaard — along with their crack team of PhDs in quantum chemistry, software developers and ex-management consultants — began the venture to solve some of the hardest problems in chemistry and create a brighter future in the process.
And with the medical emergency the world has been dealing with in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hafnium Labs’ efforts now, as well as in the future, will be greatly appreciated.
Jon Christensen, the first of the Hafnium Labs’ founders, has an M.Sc in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Before Hafnium Labs, Christensen spent nearly five years with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), finishing his stint at the consultancy giant as a project manager.
Like his Hafnium Labs cofounder Christensen, Bjørn Maribo-Mogensen went to DTU where he obtained a Ph.D. in thermodynamics, chemistry, numerical analysis, and software development. Professionally, Maribo-Mogensen has spent time as a technical writer on computer architecture and hardware design, a specialist for thermodynamic modelling and physical property computation for leading global industrial gases and engineering company Linde and — just before founding Hafnium Labs — time as an independent consultant and researcher bridging technology gaps between the chemical industry and state-of-the-art research within electrolyte thermodynamics and chemical engineering using modern programming languages and techniques.
Similar to his aforementioned cofounders, Rasmus Lundsgaard, AKA “Termo”, went to DTU and is the startup’s computational chemist. A Ph.D. graduate in chemical engineering, he has spent the majority of his career in academia.
Moneywise, Hafnium Labs received an undisclosed amount from a Seed Round in 2019 from Merck Accelerator and a whopping €1.6 million grant from the European Innovation Council in the same year.
Hafnium Labs’ unique software tools that make quicker and more intelligent design decisions in physical property data for molecules and mixtures, borne out of a love for adding value to an industry with quantum players like CreativeQuantum, Quantum on Demand and HQS Quantum Simulations, will clearly see them in a position to change the industry for the better.