Date: March 24, 2020

New start-up Nextmol sprouted from successful ATOMSIM project

Presenting one of Eurolabs Business Prototyping projects: ATOMSIM which resulted in a company called Nextmol, a spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputer Center.

Can you tell me more about Atomsim?

Our society and economy are profoundly influenced by materials. Materials have helped to raise our standard of living, but new challenges steadily emerge and novel materials are demanded, representing a key element of the commercial success of tomorrow's industrial products and competitiveness of the industry. Up to now, materials have been designed and characterized mainly using experimental techniques. However, with today’s increased competition, the experimental trial-and-error approach has become too slow, costly and inefficient. Chemical companies need solutions that reduce the time and cost required to develop new materials and chemistry. The ATOMSIM project arose from this need. The goal is to accelerate materials R&D by using computer simulations (and in particular, atomistic simulations), and to bring these techniques from academia to industry.

Why did you apply for the Eurolab4HPC business prototyping grant?

We applied for the Eurolab4HPC business prototyping grant with the aim of validating and improving our initial business model. The grant allowed us to test our hypothesis by interviewing industry representatives and business experts. It has been essential for pushing the project further. We are very grateful for the support that we received on this difficult path from science to market.

What was the outcome of the project?

At the end of the ATOMSIM project we had the first prototype of our product ready, a performance test of several cloud computing infrastructures (the tests were carried out by HPCnow), and a comprehensive business plan which included the findings made during the project. We also expanded our network of potential customers thanks to the participation in several industrial events.

Since the BPP ended, what has happened to the Atomsim project?

Since the end of the BPP (May 2019) we have created the company (called Nextmol), a spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, for the commercialization of the technology; we have raised funding from Repsol Foundation and currently participate in its startups acceleration program Entrepreneurs Fund; and we also coordinate the project BigDFT4CHEM funded by the EXDCI Spin-off Initiative, whose objective is to perform an in-depth market study for the ab-initio DFT code BigDFT.

What are your future plans?

Our plans for the next months are to finish a beta version of our product, test it in depth with the help of our early adopters, and finally launch the product to the market at the beginning of 2021. We also plan to carry out more pilot projects with customers from the chemical sector, raise private investment in a seed round, and progressively grow the team.

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